Learning to Appreciate

The table is covered in marks of red and orange.  Green bits speck his hands as he hands me a loosely capped marker, and I cringe.  Trying to hold back whatever angering thoughts there might be.  Unwarranted angry thoughts, as usual.  The fact that we just spent the past hour painstakingly attempting to get him to do the simplest task, a task that he himself has done many times before – but refuses to do when asked.

Control.  Isnt that what we are all after?  Isnt that what we all crave?  A little bit of control.  It shouldn’t be that much to ask for, but it is.  Especially as 9’o’clock rolls around, and we still haven’t finished what we set out to do.

Frustration, anger, discouragement.  All words that flood over me, as well as the all too familiar guilt that seeps in unnoticed, waiting for me to acknowledge that once again, I have failed.

So often I am tempted to let my mind wander.  And ask questions such as what would life be like, had things not gotten so complicated.  What if he were a NORMAL child.  A word that screams at me not to use.  Deep down I know the answers, I know the problems, and I know the solutions.  But sometimes….I want to take the easy way out.  I want a normal family, with normal problems, and normal kids.

It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.

For once, I wish I could be the parent with the issues related to things that seem so simple.  Instead I am stuck researching words that I don’t even want to know what mean.  STUCK!  Another word to add to my seemingly endless list of words I hate.  Because I know.  I know.  I know.  Most days, I know.  And I am ok with knowing.

I know that I am among the lucky.  That I still have so much to be thankful for.  That normal is overrated, and really I should be happy with the more complex issues because they give me a completely different perspective.  I know all this, and I believe it.  With everything in me.  But some days…

Some days…I just want to sample the what if.  And so I do.  I indulge myself in thinking that things went my way, and for once I am not alone in this world, trying desperately to glue together the broken fragments of life.  I imagine a life without so much pain, and not so much sadness.  A world starkly different than the one I have.

I can only stay there for so long, and then I have to come back to reality.  I have to shake the selfish wants from my mind, and open my eyes to what surrounds me.  And be thankful.  Thankful for marker colored tables, and problems I don’t know how to deal with.  Thankful…because it means I still have something.  Someone.  Who gives meaning to my world, even on the darkest days.

“Sometimes you have to forget whats gone.  Appreciate what still remains and look forward to whats coming next.”


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