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Arrows and Dreams

August 13, 2013

“Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”
― Alice Sebold

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The shopping is done. New school clothes and new shoes for all three kids. I did as much as I could on the Internet, safe from the perils of crowded shopping malls, and busy parking lots. Then, this morning with one therapist in tow, we tackled the shoe shopping. Oh, how I loathe shoe-shopping. Finding shoes that fit over braces and orthotics and are still “cool” enough to wear to school, but also meet the dress code regulations, and are affordable, because three kids means six pairs of shoes….. Then add to that the visual overstimulation of shelves and rows and stacks of brightly colored boxes with letters and numbers that seem to be in some sort of foreign code…. Meltdowns are just part of the game.

It is difficult. But I am grateful.

Yes, you read that right. I am grateful that I get to go shoe-shopping for my kids.

Each year they get older. Each year they get bigger. They are growing. All of them. They are one year further on their journey to who they were made to be. And I get to watch. I am the lucky one who was picked to bear witness to these three little miracles.

I let Troy attempt shopping for his own shoes. I leave him in his section of the store, two aisles over from Joyce’s section – a full 15 feet away in a small store, but it thrills him nonetheless. He is suddenly Mr. Independent. It doesn’t take long before he is frustrated with the experience, but for a minute there, he was totally in charge of his own shoe-shopping expedition. The shoe store has long been a trigger for him. A few short years ago he would have been screaming on the floor by now. It’s been a long time since I’ve even ventured into a shoe store with him. Usually I pick out shoes that I guess will fit him, buy them while he is at social skills group, bring them home to him try on and then return and try again for a better fit. Now, here I am even daring to walk a few feet away from him in the shoe store. He amazes me.

Joyce happily sits herself down on the floor of the aisle, trying on many pairs of shoes – all with velcro. She recognizes her limits. She knows she will need efficiency in the morning. And what’s more, she has found several pairs of shoes with lights on them – something we could never find when she was wearing her AFO braces. Every bit the princess of the family, my little fashionista sets her sights on the purple glittery pair with lights and rhinestones, of course. She makes my heart smile.

How many doctors told us we wouldn’t get here? I am buying shoes for Mary to wear to school. Good shoes. Sturdy shoes to support her as she learns to walk farther, manage stairs, and (dare I hope?) to run. She is growing. She is strong. She is happy. I get so excited about the idea of it, I spring for a second pair just like I do for my other kids – it’s always a good idea to have a second pair in case one gets muddy. Little kids who can walk on uneven surfaces often encounter mud after all…. We are blessed.

My little ones are growing up. It is happening so fast. There is such an urgency to these last two weeks of summer – to make it last, to hit the pause button somehow. I know so many parents are dreading the back to school rush. It’s another transition, to be certain. It won’t be easy. But as we wait on those crystal ball tests, I can’t help but feel grateful for all of it. I don’t know what our future holds. I only know that I have been handed the three most perfect gifts that have ever existed, and whether I get to hold them for a moment or a lifetime, I will be forever blessed.

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”

And he said:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

~Khalil Gibran, Children, Chapter IV

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah Taylor permalink
    August 13, 2013 8:16 pm

    Love every word… great post!

  2. August 14, 2013 11:11 am

    Love this post! Especially Mr Independent and the purple sparkly shoes. Who said special needs and high fashion do not go hand in hand 😉

    • August 14, 2013 11:31 am

      Thanks! She is very fashionable – in her own way, of course. 😉 I’m going to have my hands full in a few years when we hit teen-hood!

  3. August 14, 2013 4:59 pm

    Who wouldn’t love a pair of purple-sparkly shoes?! Sounds like it was a successful trip. I have been dreading making our shoe-shopping voyage..but I need to do it..fast. We start in a week and a half!

    • August 14, 2013 5:18 pm

      What is it about shoe-shopping? I hate it. I confessed to our aide yesterday, now that I have kids, I haven’t bought a new pair of shoes for myself in two or three years! And when I do it’s a grab and dash kind of operation. I think I have shoe-shopping related PTSD! Good luck on your expedition. 😉

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