Isn't that how you feel some days? Blue? Blah? Out of gas? Tired?
I think I've been there for a couple of weeks now. I certainly haven't had much to write about... nothing that you'd care to read anyway. I have wanted to write. I sat down more than a few times and drafted something. Nothing sounded right, nothing felt right.
I have (unfortunately) been feeling sorry for myself. I hate that. It's a physical feeling. It's heavy and suffocating and such a lonely place to be.
It all started as I was walking into the school to dismiss Abby a couple of weeks ago. I was behind a mom and her 3'ish year old daughter. They were holding hands and chatting. The little girl turned to look at me, smiled, said hello and almost tripped over a crack in the walkway. Her mother straightened her, they laughed and continued on... hand in hand. I was jealous.
I was jealous that they were chatting. I was jealous that they were holding hands. I was jealous that the little lady wasn't running 50 feet ahead or waddling 10 steps behind. I was jealous that she was normal.
What IS normal?
How do you define normal?
Most times when we pick Abby up from school together, Josh darts out of the car and runs full speed into the building (it's quite a distance), never even looking at the people he almost takes out along the way. When I yell for him to stop, he doesn't.
Other times he won't even get out of the car. When I finally DO coerce him (bribe him... I'm not proud), he saunters on down the walkway stopping no less than 45 times along the way. Let me assure you, he gives stopping to smell the roses a whole new meaning. He stops for roses, rocks, cracks in the ground, all babies, most men and anyone who drives a bus. When I yell for him to come, he doesn't.
Picking Abby up from school with Josh is anything BUT normal.
And I obviously have no (real) idea of what life is like for that little girl walking ahead of me. I have no idea if her life is normal or not normal... but at that very moment, she was something I craved. It's funny how one little moment in time can define the next few weeks in your life... if you allow it.
My head tells me that God makes no mistakes and that I (with a LOT of help from above) can do this... I can raise Josh and do a good job at it and everything will be okay... and I honestly believe that... but sometimes my heart just craves normalcy.
Then he makes me laugh. A real, honest to goodness belly laugh.
Or he snuggles up with me and says "I wuv woo mom".
Or I get a text from him at school that says "good day mom, love Josh Lewis".
Or I get a note home from a teacher saying that they weren't feeling well and Josh prayed for them.".
Or HE apologizes to ME when clearly I have been the one out of line.
And I realize... this IS normal. It's OUR normal. It's Josh. It's perfect. It's exhausting and overwhelming and never (ever) easy, or fast, but it's beautiful. It's the way God intended.
I'm so glad God doesn't leave us in that pit of despair. I think pit is a good descriptive term here. It feels an awful lot like a pit. The walls are high and it feels deep. It's also very hard to climb out. It takes strength, courage, faith...
I'm so glad He picks us up, brushes us off and pushes us to keep pluggin' away. Life is hard. Situations arise that you can't possibly figure out. Things happen that are unfortunate or complicated or unsettling. But God is there. He might take the form of a friend with a kind word or a song with a message that really spoke to you. He might be in form of a smile on a stranger's face or a compliment from the cashier at Walmart... or... He might be in the silence that you find deafening because you're not listening for Him.
He's on the mountaintop with you when things are just rollin' right along wonderfully... and He's in the pit.
So yeah... what IS normal. WHO is normal? Who gets to DEFINE what normal is anyway?
If Josh having Down Syndrome has taught me anything, it's this... normal is (most definitely) over-rated.
Josh & cousin Noah
walking side by side,
(just not with me... never ever with me).