Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Radical Acceptance

It is not every day that we get to have "normal" family time in our home. We certainly do “special” things as a family like going to the wildlife park, the fair, or the steam engine show. But we miss out on a lot of the everyday stuff.

Most families share meal times as a chance to catch up and reconnect...we cannot do that. To the contrary, Shawn and I sometimes eat in shifts while the other occupies the kids, but for the most part we eat during naptime and after the kids go to bed at night. Yup, that’s right – we eat dinner between 7:30 and 9 every night – depending on how long it takes me to prepare it.

There is an added layer above and beyond the food issues in our home – we have twins. There is so much to do and with two toddlers there is little time to do it all. For this reason Shawn and I are often off and running in two different directions. He runs off to school two evenings a week. I run off to do errands (or just get away!) some evenings and work my 4 hours per week on Saturdays. Because the kids immunotherapy treatment requires them to be free of viruses and the like (and away from exposure to chemicals including perfumes) we swap church services on Sundays. Shawn goes to the first while I stay home with the kids. Then I go to the second.

We have very little NORMAL family time. Sometimes this is really hard to deal with. This weekend I realized just how much we are missing out on in this area.

We had so much fun. We spent Sunday afternoon into dusk raking leaves onto a huge tarp and pulling them to the street to be picked up – the three babies (cousin K) riding IN the pile! Afterward we came inside and enjoyed each other’s company. Shawn and I sat on the couch together while the kids played around the coffee table. With all the running in different directions, I can’t remember the last time just sat together like that WHILE the kids were still awake.

Looking at it now - it was bitter sweet. Much of the “normal” family time stuff is impossible for us.

Here we are – days away from Thanksgiving and trying to figure out how to celebrate without food being the main focus (or any focus for the kids). I guarantee that unless you have lived through something similar to this you can’t truly understand it. We certainly don’t have it so bad. The kids are growing and in overall good health. They certainly aren’t in the hospital for a feeding tube and waiting to find out if they will need a liver transplant like one mom I have met. We are truly blessed. Still there is a stinging in my heart for all that my kids are missing out on. There was a time when we could put them at a table full of food and give them their medical food and they didn’t notice the difference. Not so anymore. Now they cry, beg, and temper. This sucks.

Honestly, I know we need to “get over it” to a certain extent – and we do…every day. I practice one of my favorite things – radical acceptance. Have you ever found yourself thinking about something and just shaking your head “no” or thinking “why?” This is when the art of radical acceptance comes in. When your head is shaking “no,” physically shake it “yes.” At first it really means nothing, but in time it actually helps. Then we put one foot in front of the other – creating new traditions for our children.

I am thankful for all we have. God is God and I am not. Although I am not there yet – today I am shaking my head “yes.”

1 comment:

  1. ugh. This has been on my mind for all of November. food sucks.