Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Peaks and Valleys

I thought I would blog about the highs and lows of mothering a high need baby. 

It is no easy task, but at the same time there are great moments of pure joy!  I have every emotion every day. 

The Peaks:
Have you ever climbed to the top of a mountian?  (If you're saying, Yeah right sister! I guess I can really only say I've driven to a spot that allowed me to climb about 300 steps to the top of a mountian).  The view is amazing and you stand there for several minutes just to admire the view and all of God's grand creation.  You feel at peace and joyful. 

I have had so many of those joyful and peaceful moments with my son lately.  He has hit this wonderful stage of walking and at the same time he has really blossomed into a child that responds and understands language.  In the past two weeks my amazing son has learned and is incorporating about 6 signs in sign language.  A genius, right?!?!  haha.  Well it totally shocked me because I was convinced he was going to be too stubborn to learn sign language.  But we watch Baby Signing Time at least three times a week and he is just picking it up rapidly.  So my moments of joy are when he signs when he wants something or wants to communicate.  It is absolutely thrilling!  The joy also floods my heart when he lays his precious little head on my lap when he gets tired or nervous in a new setting.  It shows me that he really trusts me to protect him and comfort him.  It melts my heart!

The Valleys:
Now I am originally from the central valley of California, so I won't say anything bad about the valley, because I really love it there and plan to move back there.  But for the purposes of imagery I will explain one particularly undesirable features of living there.  It gets hot in the summer.  It gets over 100 degrees for at least a week each summer and is typically above 90 the whole summer.  Nights don't cool down until about midnight or later.  It can be so miserable and you feel trapped inside your house because it's too hot to go out. 

Speaking of trapped... do you ever feel trapped in your house because of you high needs baby?  There are times that he is having one of those days that he's beyond cranky.  He gets angry at everything and cries at the drop of a hat and I convince myself that I can't take him in public and have a meltdown.  So I decide it is better to stay at home and suffer silently.  There are also days, like I've had in the past week, when I take particular notice of other babies and their gentle temperment.  The way they sleep soundly in a crowded room, or sleep for long periods of time for naps.  The way they smile at EVERYTHING and never show signs of real anger.  And I begin to feel sorry for myself that I was "robbed" of that experience.  I have gotten pretty good at minimizing these thoughts because I am so proud of my son and how far we've come.  But those thoughts do come and sometimes I entertain them.  Because, when we are really honest with ourselves, it is really hard some days to parent a high needs baby. 
On a side note - the valley also has wonderfully fertile soil and it so great for growing produce for people to eat.  Just as the actions we take and the love we give our children are creating fertile soil for growing wonderfully well adjusted children.  We just need to practice our patience and give an overabundance of love even when we don't feel it.  So that our children will be able to grow into people that bring greatness to the world.  You can always find something positive - even in the valleys of life.

1 comment:

  1. Aww. That is so sweet that he rests his head on your lap. So helpless and vulnerable :) It's like you're go go go and then when they (finally) calm down or better IF this calm down, you actually have a few seconds to just enjoy them. Makes all the stress melt away, doesn't it...

    I hear you. Those babies that you see, sitting in car seats quietly at a restaurant or asleep in their strollers while mine is screaming in a highchair or squirming in my lap. Those moms that tell you "my baby sleeps from 630pm-7am" and still have the nerve to complain "I'm so tired. Baby woke up at 2am for a feed!" HA!

    But you are so right. The peaks make the valleys insignificant if we look at the big picture. And as my mom always says, "your baby has such an amazing personality already. Their babies are boring. Who wants to spend all their time watching their baby sleep! You had a baby to spend time with them, not to clean the house or run errands, etc etc. She just wants your undivided attention and aren't afraid to show it. Is that such a bad thing?"