I used to think that the poems, stories and songs that came to me easily were divinely inspired, and must be the best work I’d ever do. But usually, two days’ reflection revealed them to be trash. Over time, I’ve become suspicious of “easy.” I’ve come to believe that the meaning of life lies in the struggle. That life, and achievements, and all things worth pursuing, are less about the end point than they are about the journey there.
This is something that becomes crystal clear to me this morning, as I sit in the playroom at the special ed office watching five women take notes on my daughter’s every utterance and action. This is their work, what they do every day: to classify, organize and judge her abilities in order to prepare an “Individualized Education Program.” It’s oh, so ordinary to them. They are sweet ladies, but it’s all business, an intellectual exercise.
It’s tempting to sit at the side of the room and cringe when Julianna doesn’t identify, classify and group properly; when they ask her to do things we’ve never tried with her. It’s tempting to start jabbering, to justify what we have and have not done; what she can and cannot do; to make excuses for the skills she does not have. But I hold my tongue, because I know that they are not here to pass judgment on my parenting skills. Shepherding Julianna through her first three years has taught me that some questions have to be asked, even when it seems irrational to do so.
But more than anything else, life with Julianna has taught me that all things worth having are worth struggling for. She has taught me the sweetness of a milestone achieved, and the peace of accepting the ones not achieved.
It is a lesson that God prepares anew for me every day—and one that I will always need to be reminded of. My sweet girl, how I love you. How you change me…how you make me holy, my little angel girl.
(This post is linked to Tuesdays Unwrapped at chattingatthesky.com.)