Saturday, December 25, 2010
We walked into the Christmas Eve service last night at our church and instead of going straight into Annie's classroom, we made a right turn into the main auditorium. The service was geared toward families, so all the kids were with their parents. Only some kids didn't want to be with their parents, they wanted to be in their classrooms. So when we didn't steer Annie's wheelchair into the hallway leading to her classroom, the whining began. Now, usually when there's a conflict of opinion between the princess and her parents, we try to divert her attention by strolling her around. Strolling didn't help last night. Nor did going into the cry/screaming room to sit with her mom. Pretty much nothing was going to appease her.
Do you know how to discipline a 7 year old in a wheelchair? Great, neither do we. So after Bill and I traded off awhile in an effort to get the decibel level down below Hark the Herald Angels Sing, I gave up--or gave in--and went outside and put her in the van. Must've been what she wanted, because she immediately stopped yelling. So we sat inside the van for an hour while I sang Christmas carols, and she sat there and smiled. I was not smiling.
You know the reason why Annie was so obstinate last night? It came to me about 11:36 PM. It's because she hasn't been having seizures, and now again has an opinion about who, what, where and how long--everything. Her seizure activity waxes and wanes, as does anyone's who has Lennox-Gastaut, but even after almost four years, I'm always a day or two behind: Oh, she hasn't had a seizure in 2 days--that's why she's got attitude. Or, oh, she's been seizing--that's why she hasn't been drinking from her cup.
So, I am thankful for the gift of no seizures, even when it comes with the behavior management string attached. In fact, I'm thankful for many gifts I got this Christmas--especially the ones that weren't under the tree! Gifts like a husband who is alive and well this Christmas and who came out into the parking lot looking for me while I was singing carols to Her Grumpiness. (He offered to switch off with me, but I was resigned to missing the service, and told him to go back in.)
Gifts like older children who patiently support, endure, help and love Annie.
And gifts like a reason to sing Christmas carols in the van. I've said it before, but if it weren't for Jesus coming to earth, dying on a cross for my sin, and giving me the gift of eternal life, I would be hopeless. But sitting there last night, I remembered that someday we'll be in heaven, Annie will be healed, and I'll be listening to her sing Christmas carols.
Hark the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!