Home-schooling my son has been a lonely and daunting journey for me for the last three years. I can’t tell you the number of times I wanted to quit as there were times I just couldn’t make it successfully through the day.
I had always felt inadequate being his teacher. My graduate studies are incomplete, which made me doubt even more my abilities as a better educator. I had tried my best to teach him but I was always concerned that he might miss out on the essential things in his studies which only a proficient teacher can teach.
He is being home-schooled by me because he was denied admission in schools due to his inattention issues. It was disheartening to see him being rejected. The rejection could make things even emotionally difficult for a 6 year-old. I didn’t want his gifts and skills to be trampled on before they blossom. So, I needed to take initiative to continue his studies despite my challenges.
These years I have been in a fog of confusion. Even as I felt lonely, my son felt lonely too, as he couldn’t be a part of any school and have friends. I have been praying and searching for a suitable school, or an experienced home-schooling family which might guide me along. But there wasn’t any evident result of my persistent search or answer to my prayers.
It has always been a very challenging and emotionally overwhelming situation for me when my husband travels out of town. I feel very helpless managing both the kids without his support and it just feels like I am a lonely soldier on a battlefield without any weapon.
I understand that it is required of him to travel but staying alone with children with special needs isn’t an easy task. The entire family schedule goes upside down. I am sleep deprived. I hardly get to have a bath or food on time. My 8 years old son’s only friend is his dad and he, being so attached to him, feels lonely and gloomy all the time. His only companion will be the laptop until his dad returns. My daughter on the other hand needs my much attention for her needs and I have to carry her around the house even to get a glass of water for myself when she cries and refuses to stay on the bed by herself.
Most new things in his life are very stressful for him but this camp however was not. My 8 years old son, Asher, joined a three days kids’ camp online and seemed really excited about it. To my amazement, he did participate in it very well. There were action songs, games and Bible-based activities which he did with my help and actively involved himself in learning.
Whenever the winners’ names were announced, he waited with hope that his name would be called out too. Each time they announced the winners’ names he would turn to me and ask in excitement, “Mummy, will they choose me?” Consequently, in three of the activities he participated, his name wasn’t in the winners’ list. Seeing his gloomy face for not being chosen, I would assure him that among two hundred participants, they chose only the first 10 or 20 kids, you see the rest of the other kids aren’t winners too. But he was too determined and hopeful to be chosen.
In the bliss of her motherhood journey which newly had begun, she dreamt the loveliest dreams as she cuddled her baby in her arms. The girl child was the answer to her secret prayers to God. She felt immensely joyful admiring the innocent and cutest look of her baby girl. She dreamt of her tiny feet running on the floor, her curly hair adorned with clips & ribbons, her frilled frock swaying as she would walk, her lovely eyes gazing at her mother and her giggles & laugh echoing around the house as she would play with her brother and father. She imagined her family to be the happiest place in the world maybe, with two kids in her arms with no worry or fear; it seemed nothing but a splendid blessings from above.
The heartaches which were about to come her way were unknown. She was unprepared for the tempest she would face for endless days. She was unaware of the news which would rip her soul apart. She was naïve about the darkest night waiting to haunt her mind with fright. In the blink of an eye, her cutest & blissful moments with her baby were ruthlessly snatched away by the daunting news she never imagined in her wildest dreams to be true. Her once serene life was disturbed with frightening alarm and it seemed like it would never be peaceful again. Her finest dreams were crushed under the fear of this unknown route, leaving her in agony, in sobs, and in the harshest plight of her soul.
In a fraction of second, her life flipped from a beautiful castle to stormed rubble, leaving her with anguish, with a seizing & crying baby in her arms and awful pounding in her heart. It was heart wrenching too for her to carry her baby through the hospital corridors day after day for one or other test or procedure. Painful for her was to see the needle pricks on the little thighs, the merciless insertion of cannulas on the tiny hands and the numerous blood tests that followed every single week, taking every ounce of strength and life from her helpless baby.
How could a mother’s heart feel numb to the endless sufferings of her innocent child? All she wished was to have wings like an angel, to carry her baby away from all the pain and sickness to a quiet place where she would feel comfort, soothe and calm.
Her days, weeks, months and years were spent caring for her girl. Walking through the furnace of criticism, unacceptance and denial, her days filled with loneliness, silence and withdrawal as her life didn’t match with other mothers. Even if she wished to be one among all, her destiny chose her to stand apart. Her life was given the hardest mission to complete. She was sent on a journey which she never thought she would choose; she reached a destination which she never had expected! Only one choice was left to her: accept the destination with joy or accept it anyway.
There have been many times when she greeted the moon and the sun without a closed eyelid in between, some by hospital beds, some through prayerful tears and some with her seizing and crying baby on her lap. She cried, prayed & shed every bit of a tear she could at God’s feet until she felt solace and calm. Many times she begged God to heal her baby asking Him to alter His plan.
She spent her nights staring in the dark, she sacrificed her wishes, her comfort and the young years of life behind closed doors caring for her child, holding her in her arms, soothing her into a peaceful nap, feeding her, grooming her and talking to her just like a little girl who would play and talk with her doll and wouldn’t care if the doll couldn’t talk… With each passing day, unknowingly though, she fell in love with this gift she received from above and began cherishing it with all that she could. The gift was meant to be a bridge that would connect many aching souls to her own.
Silencing every sob, hiding every sorrow under a smile, ignoring every question, blame & criticism, overlooking every eye that stared, she carried and cared for the baby she had. Neither with the hope to have their sympathy nor with the belief of gaining their approval, she appeared to the world just the way she was, with a determination to love her child and accept the way she was destined to be. At the same time she asked a question to her own soul, “Didn’t God accept me as imperfect as I was?” So I will accept and love my child just the way she was given to me. The world may see only her deformed frame, but I will only look at her beautiful heart.