Everything about motherhood has been a surprise starting with becoming a mom. I didn’t think I could get pregnant again after my miscarriage without some outside help.
Then suddenly, surprise, I was pregnant! So pregnancy was my first surprise (and a welcome one at that).
Besides being sick for the first 4-5 months, pregnancy was going well. My husband and I were so happy to discover we were having a boy. I was excited for three reasons. First, I was going to be the only girl which meant I was going to be the princess. Second, we had a boy named picked out. I saw the name Declan in a book I had read many years before and my husband Matt and I both fell in love with it. Lastly, we were told that boys are so much fun!
It was during my 31st week of pregnancy that Declan gave us another surprise. He wanted out! I went into the hospital where they were able to stop my labor for three days, but that was all. I delivered our son at 32 weeks gestation. I was NOT ready to be a mom because he was not supposed to be here yet. So began our short journey (26 days) in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).
I was not surprised once we got home at lack of sleep and increase in fear and questions. Am I doing this right, am I ready to be a mom? (Too late, I know, but the question remained). What did surprise me are my son’s delays in development. EVERYONE has said that he will catch up and don’t worry. Now at the age of 2 and still delayed in some areas, thankfully people have stopped assuming. Yes, he is in speech therapy and we do what we can, but the reality is, we don’t know what the future holds for our sweet, lovable boy. On the other hand there are many ways that he is like other boys -- he likes to climb, get dirty, pick up rocks, roughhouse, and push his limits.
This leads to my biggest surprise -- I need GRACE EVERYDAY, sometimes multiple times a day, from my son. I don’t know how many times I have had to apologize to him (and he is only 2). It isn’t just the fact that I am a rookie mom. Declan is a strong-willed, energy-filled boy, but with delays. I get frustrated because we can’t communicate well. I get frustrated because he isn’t learning or understanding and the fear that comes with it makes me push him when he isn’t ready or doesn’t understand. I need to love him and give it all I have, and then some. I firmly believe God does give me the ability, but I do not cling to Him for help as often as I should. I also need to apologize to Declan when I do not give him time and attention when I could have. Instead of playing with him or sitting at the table while he eats (even if I am not), I am on the computer. I need his grace for the times I am selfish, fearful, frustrated, and plain old honest mistakes -- such as no milk with meal or forgetting a bib at meal times. FYI -- he is in bed for the night while I type this :)
Since Declan has come into our lives just two short years ago, I never knew the amount of grace I would need from him already. I knew I was not going to be perfect, but I had no idea how many ways I would fail him. It makes me appreciate my Heavenly Father so much more, not just His grace but how often He lavishes it on me.
I am so humbled, honored, and amazed at the privilege that God has given me to be Declan’s mom. He chose me! What a gift! What a blessing!
Thank you Declan for giving me, this rookie mom, a lesson in grace on a daily basis. You teach me to lean on The Father’s love and appreciate His grace more and more.