I remember when Ryan was born. He was born 6 1/2 weeks early and rushed to the NICU after the pediatrician held him to my cheek so I could kiss him multiple times over. I hadn’t seen him again for 36 hours. I ended up being discharged before him. The feelings of going home without your baby is something no one can ever try to explain to someone who’s never been through it. Just think about the purpose of going to the hospital – to have a baby so you can bring him/her home – and then that not happening as you expected.

Not fun.

I remember when Britney was 3 months old. She was holding her head up, still wobbly at times, but still able to hold it up at times when she was interested in looking at the world around her. By 6 months, she was holding herself up on her arms and loved tummy time. By 8 months, she was sitting up on her own and was even up on all fours crawling around the house following me as my shadow did. By a year old, she was cruising around furniture and starting to really get into things.

For Ryan – things were different. At 3 months old, he was still as a newborn baby. He wasn’t really even interested in holding his head up because he ate, slept, and filled his diaper. He was still on an apnea monitor and oxygen. At 6 months old, he was more interested in holding his head up, but definitely didn’t have the strength. He played on his tummy, but not for long as he ended up face diving into the floor, his toys, or the boppy that helped hold him up. Then he’d fall fast asleep as he tired from the work he was doing on his belly.

By 8 months, we started Physical, Occupational, and speech therapy…we were working on sit on his own, tummy time, grasping toys, and the concept of possibly starting to mouth feed with a spoon. At a year old, he still wasn’t sitting up on his own, tummy time was something he learned to despise, and eating with a spoon was hard (and messy) work! Walking wasn’t even in the picture for us at a year old. At what point that would come, I had no idea – but I had to remind myself for as impatient I was with myself, I had to be patient for Ryan’s sake. He was a baby. He didn’t know any better and he had to be taught. It was going to take time. I was his mom. Of anyone, I needed to be patient.

I think about when I was pregnant with each of my children. The pregnancies differed. The births differed. They were two different newborns, toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged, and eventually, middle school and high school students. I had to learn patience with one more than I had with the other. There was a whole world passing by on fast forward who didn’t always have patience for me…the best thing I can do for my children was and always will be: to be patient.patience

I’m still learning this word and the action of having it fully and faithfully. Especially as they grow.

Especially when there is teenage drama.

Especially when there are seizures after 10 months of nothing from double brain surgery and multiple medication changes.

Are there times I walk away without answering a question they ask 5 times when they don’t hear the answer they like? Yes.
Are there times I have locked myself in the bathroom? Screamed into a pillow? Cried my eyes out in the shower? Left the house to walk outside for fresh air? Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.

But one thing I have to remember when I feel overwhelmed with the situations and experiences they are going through in their lives: I am the only mom they will ever have. The one person they should be able to come to for anything. They’re one mom who will always protect and defend them. If I don’t continue to show them that I can be patient with them now, how will they trust they can come to me later? I have to be patient as I was when I was waiting for Ryan to hold his head up, learn to sit up on his own, walk, and how patient I am I for him to communicate with us on a daily basis.

I’m still learning. And by the grace of God, I will keep learning and growing in what this word and it’s action can do for me and my family. And for that, I am so grateful for the grace I’m given.


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