Friday, October 17, 2008
Without conditions. period.
So I skipped a week of writing... good thing there is no actual "deadline". It's been a busy week with my mom, Avery and Kaylee's beloved "Grammy" here to visit and help out. Thank god for my mom. She is my rock, and she is the greatest teacher of all on how to love unconditionally. Who knew how incredibly valuable that lesson would become in my life as it is now. The love we have for our children is like none other. I have written of this before, and truly believe that on many levels our children's souls are somehow connected to our hearts as we walk our journey through life. When they feel pain, we feel pain, and the same is true of their joy and success. But on some level, as children age, it seems like expectations come into play as far as being "proud" of them. I see parents all the time demonstrating this pride, as they talk of their kids accomplishments, their successes, and so on. I am sure that their love is not "conditional," but sometimes one would wonder in hearing them talk. Having always been a little bit selfish and pretty accomplished myself, I totally GET the need for approval and trying to earn love and attention. So in the big picture, Avery is teaching me, and all who know me and her on what it means to really take OUT the conditions. I approve, applaud, adore, and am proud of Avery every single day. Does she give back that love and attention? Sometimes, and in her own special way... and that is enough for me. It has to be, or I would live in a very dark place. I know that she is here for a reason. She is a gift and a blessing just as she is. Does that mean I lose hope in trying to heal her? Of course not... I want Avery to be all she can be, but as I live through this experience, I am trying to be realistic. I have had hope for Avery since the day she was born. One year ago I typed in my iphone all of the words Avery was using. She had lost a few at this point, but she was still able to consistently use about 15 words. She was still able to point and do a few other gestures that she ultimately lost to Autism. I remember being stressed as I wrote the list, but thinking... "things will be different in a year... she will come so far." Boy was I right and wrong. Things sure are different, and though she has made gains in some areas, for the most part she has been in a major state of regression... losing all of her words, becoming a sensory mess etc etc. But I hold on to that hope. As her mother I owe her this much and more. I KNOW that she will likely progress as she gets older, but my love for her is hardly conditional upon that progress. I love her without expectation, without conditions. Period. And so does her dad, and Grandparents by the way. So I am starting to "get" the big picture I think. Maybe for us, Avery is here to teach us all about how to love. Lord knows Grammy already knew this, but for the rest of us caught up in the hustle and bustle of sports, grades, accomplishment and competition, Avery brings us back to what is REALLY important. Just loving her for the sake of love itself. How beautiful and perfect that lesson is.