The Gift of Amos. Our latest evening topic, the stories my children and I share as we ready for bedtime and divulge our hearts. We all have a chance to share the good, the bad and the ugly and tonight it was my turn. Was our special needs two year old a gift in their eyes?
Truthfully, the concept of Amos as a "gift" has caused me great angst, annoyance even. I even have the beginning of a story in my notes with the many quotes that I have found offensive regarding Amos and his place in our family. I just tucked them there where I can ponder my role in the inflammation (my guilt in the matter acknowledged). My role is certainly the one that is problematic and I am very aware that I am the common denominator. I have come to a few conclusions.
One, my children are all gifts. Truly. Two, I believe they were designed by God and so, I acknowledge His role in their place on my tapestry. Three, I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to my own feelings and internal reactions. In my acknowledgement of this, I can begin to accept the heartfelt words that have been extended so often and truthfully felt like a slap in the face, "God wanted you to have Amos" felt to me like, "God really wants to teach you a lesson / God wants your life to be extra hard and stressful / God hates you." I lay my heart on the line here so please go with me as I have come full circle.
"It does get better and it always hurts." Those words from a mother planning her son's 43rd birthday party. Wow. In her words, strength overtook me and the truth resonated so clearly. She had accepted her gift and reached out me — a bit of unconscious encouragement, I think. The kind that I am so glad I can offer to my children now. We have all received gifts that we never asked for, never desired in the depths of our heart, yet never would consider exchanging for one tiny second even when plummeting in the depths of despair as all mothers do when their baby birds have fallen from the nest.
The "what ifs" dance in our tired minds and we try to make sense of the mayhem and the feelings that remind me of watching the salmon swimming fiercely in the wrong direction while the clumsy bears with their wide paws try to stop their journey. I thought myself to be the salmon but I had been the bear? Unwilling to embrace my journey, accept my gift and the compliment of my most precious gift? Next time I will say thank you with my whole heart and instead of struggling to digest your kind words, I will accept them for what they are, whole truth and like all true gifts, perhaps they are the ones we don't long for but they come to us and make our lives incredible.
Most evenings when a tired mother does not just give a quick good night kiss, we lie in my big bed and ponder the universe and our roles on this earth. A place of safety in our cozy den, a refuge for words and feelings, a send off for peace and sweet dreams.