Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Perfectly Created

Raising a child with a mood disorder brings many challenges for our entire family. In order to help us cope, we’ve committed to having special alone dates with each of our kids. This time is not only valuable to our 3 boys, but as their parents we’re blessed with the unique opportunity to see our boys in a different light as well as enjoy who they’re becoming without the chaos of the whole family.

Recently I took my 8 year old son out on one of those special dates. As the compliant middle child, he often goes with the flow, like most middle kids, but unfortunately for our son, he has an older brother with a mood disorder and a younger brother with anxiety issues. This leaves him feeling lost, if not trapped inside a lot of abuse, drama and stress. So to help him cope with these challenges, I try to make him feel extra special and give him a safe place to express his feelings.

For our special “Mommy date”, I told my middle son to get dressed up nice because I was taking him out to a fancy restaurant. Unlike my other boys, my middle son has a love for good food and isn’t afraid to try new things. So I took advantage of this opportunity and made a reservation with P.F. Changs. Yes, P.F. Changs is fancy for my family! 

As my middle son came downstairs for our “date”, he looked as handsome as can be, all dressed up with his nice jeans on and his hair combed to the side. He even wore his special cross necklace with his baptism date engraved on it. As he stepped out the door with Mom by his side, Dad grabbed his shoulder and warned him , “Now Son, you’re about to take the most precious thing I have out tonight. You take care of my girl and you treat her right, ok?” My son grinned and promised, “Yes Dad, I will.”

Once at the restaurant, my son thoroughly enjoying himself, especially as he mastered his chop sticks. I think it was the first time he had dinner with cloth napkins and candles on the table, to say he was impressed was an understatement!

During dinner, he explained how relaxing it was to be out of the house away from his brothers. When I acknowledged his feelings, letting him know how sorry I was that he had to deal with so much at such a young age, he responded, “Yeah, it’s pretty hard having two brothers with brain problems, but I know someday it’s gonna help me when I grow up to be a pastor of a church because I’ll know what it feels like to go through hard times.”

Wow! I was impressed and overwhelmed with his words of wisdom. Can you believe he’s only 8 years old? But it didn’t stop there. While waiting for our check, my son watched the chefs prepare food in the kitchen. Then he asked out of curiosity, “Can I be a pastor and a chef when I grow up?” I explained that it would be pretty tough since both were full time jobs. With a small head nod, he let out a big sigh and said, “...bummer, because I wanted to feed the homeless.”

Just when I think that we’ve been through too much or that my children are scarred from all the hardships, I’m reminded in a moment like this that my sons are extraordinary individuals who are perfectly created for the life we’ve been blessed with.

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This post will appear as part of the 11th edition of Best of the Best on the S-O-S Research Blog. Check there after the 15th to read more entries by other bloggers who are sharing special moments in raising children with invisible disabilities.

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  1. Oh my dear, you truly are doing an amazing job with your sweet boys! What an absolute treasure you have in your hands as it seems he is certainly a gift to the world. Blessings to you my dear.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. We struggle so much with how our two kids with special needs affect their siblings. Your son shows amazing insight and compassion!

    BTW,PF Chang's is fancy for us too.

  3. What a beautiful post! Your son sounds like such an amazing, caring young man.

  4. Wow Mama Bear...he is so loving. This made me tear up. Such a gentle and strong little guy you have there.

  5. Great post! Your little guy reminds me of my little guy :)