Five Fingers Five Toes
By Bernadette A. Moyer
Parents want their children to be healthy and happy. The first thing a parent does is count the fingers and the toes of their children. They want to know that they are healthy and that they were born as perfect as possible. But the truth is every single child born is as perfect as possible. They are all gifts from God.
I don’t know of any parent that doesn’t want a healthy and happy child and to see that child grow to become a healthy and happy adult. Yet not every single person will be healthy or happy hard as we try and as much as we hope and pray.
My husband and I have raised three children and one child is a gifted and talented artist. He has also taught us how to raise an upside down child in a right side up world. He is different. He struggles socially and he struggles with the “norms” placed on many young adults. We could continue to fight him and push him or we could let go in love and accept him as he is … I just finished reading Love That Boy.
Love That Boy was written by Ron Fournier and is about a father that had to learn about love and parental expectations. Parents often have a vision of how a child should act and how they should behave and how they should look. Many parents put their expectations upon that child and sometimes that child is unwilling or unable to meet those expectations. The child in Love That Boy is a child on the autism spectrum. His father was often concerned about his son embarrassing himself or his dad.
Let’s face it every single well baby visit measures by “norms” on size and weight and developmental skills. There are charts on where a child should be to be considered “normal” we do measure our babies and our children.
Our kids go to school and they learn math and English and all kinds of text book learning but they also learn social skills and they too measure on what is “normal” and what is “different” or problematic. The parent’s job is to give their children what they need and not necessarily what they want. Sometimes knowing what a child needs is difficult to discern. We never really know what goes on in another person’s mind.
The single greatest challenge is to love that child regardless what they say and what they do, we learn to separate the words and the actions from the person. Real love transcends it all. There are always gifts and talents if we are willing to look for them and to appreciate them. Each child born is a gift from God.
Our son acknowledges his difficulty with social skills and yet I personally don’t notice them, we have an easy and loving relationship. I’ve had to learn to stop measuring my children, they are who they are and they are what they are and very little or any of it has to do with me. They are their own unique and individual person.
Where five fingers and five toes are important, what is most important is what is in someone’s heart. Our son has a huge heart and a conscience and always tries to right his wrongs and learn from his mistakes. What else could any parent hope for?
Today is Mother’s Day and this mother is both proud and pleased, we celebrated our relationship yesterday with breakfast out and a movie, we had fun and he planned it all! So although he struggles with several developmental markers, in my book he is still learning and growing and trying and therefore doing just fine …
We may not get the child we think that we want but we definitely get the child that God alone intended for us. And that is good and good enough …
Happy Mother’s Day! Celebrate what you have and what you had and what you learned well beyond five fingers and five toes!
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