Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When the parent needs parenting

I've been gone from here for almost a year. Life has been chaotic in many aspects, but has also been good over all. My son has grown in some wonderful areas. He is doing well in school, he has a friend who calls him on the phone and does occasional play dates. In a word, he seems stable.

It has been brought to my attention with a clattering of broken pieces that as I trained all of my efforts on our son, I have allowed another spinning plate to crash. My husband. I find myself advocating for him more than for our son lately. Little clues over the years have made me wonder if he might have Asperger's syndrome, too. Persevering thoughts, OCD tendencies, social anxiety and general anxiety, mis-communications

at work, rigidity with rules, and a host of other hallmark traits have had me suspicious. I have finally arranged to have him tested. He goes for a complete psych eval in December. I am hoping he finds peace and closure for some of the things in his past that seemed to be beyond his control, those disappointments and misunderstandings when people misread his intentions or his abilities or his motivations.

In my mind the diagnosis could be vindicating. It would give a neurological reason for those times when people assumed he didn't want to find work when he couldn't find work, or when others thought he was rude for saying something inappropriate in a social setting. It would prove that he wasn't stupid or lazy or mean or inconsiderate. It would explain why he has poor impulse control at times, why he has so many frustrations. It might help him to forgive himself for not being the financial success he wishes he could be for all of us. I am proud that he continues to try. That he gets up every morning and goes to work with people that have been careless, clueless and sometimes cruel. That he hasn't given in to what others have believed of him, such as the pastor's son who told him he wasn't college material.

Maybe it won't change the fact that he has some difficulty with executive functioning, and maybe he won't ever be able to learn to schmooze like the other Toyota car salesman he tried so hard to be like. But with any luck he will continue to be concrete in his love for family and his dedication to us. Lord willing he will be the same nurturing, loyal man I fell in love with and continue to admire. The intuitive, sensitive, intelligent person that inspires me to be a better wife and mother.

Sometimes a parent needs parenting. And if my maternal instincts are correct, the investment will be worth it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quality of Life versus Sanctity of Life

Lately the subject of death and suffering has reared its head among my facebook friends' discussions. Many expressed that they would not want to suffer extreme conditions such as terminal cancer or severe burns, or even certain genetic conditions which they feel are sentences of doom. They are passionate in their expression of sympathy for those who live with chronic pain. Many have boldly stated that it is unmerciful to allow suffering, that death would be better.

While no one would try to sell pain, or sign a clipboard to volunteer for root canal without Novocaine or even general anethesia, I have to challenge that sentiment. Is it really better to die and give up the hope that life offers just to escape? Do I even have to ask, is this a biblical view?

No, not biblical, and not even merciful. Proverbs 12:11 says that even the kindness of the ungodly is cruelty. People mean well to offer such prescriptions for pain, but let's look at the logical end of this. How much pain is too much? And what if you make that decision under the duress of a temporary but excruciating condition? What if you cannot speak for yourself, and that decision is made for you?

The picture tells it all: life reaches for hope. Life wants to press on, survive, and to fulfill its God given potential. Who among us can presume to dictate when a life is spent? Who among us dares to assign the value of a life, whether 100 years old or 21 weeks in the womb? How many children are too many? Why are there such glib remarks concerning the woman who has eight children, as though these precious ones somehow escaped God's plan and design? I am not addressing these questions to those without the hope of Christ. Truly those without the hope of the author of Life living on the inside of them can only prognosticate doom and gloom for these vulnerable ones.

The sad fact is, I am addressing the church. We who count ourselves children of a Father with no limits to His provision and grace. Can He not make a way for each of these, through pain, disadvantage, disability, poverty, and even abuse and neglect? God, the champion of life, affirms life every time. Do we not sing "God will make a way where there seems to be no way?" Why then, when it comes to these situations, do we cringe and yield ground, yielding precious lives to the reaper's sickle without a cry?

"I have set before you life and death, blessings and cursings. Choose life."