I have two things to disclose tonight. One, I’m not perfect. Two, I hate that. The end. Except it’s not the end, because the second disclosure is actually quite a problem and one which God has been whittling away at for years.
Just over a month ago, I got a new eardrum. I’ve not seen it directly, of course, but I’m told it’s beautiful. It’s also the culmination of over three years of pain, uncertainly, frustration, and fear. Our eardrums are small. Tiny, actually. Only about the size of dime, whether you’re an infant or an adult. And yet, if they are broken, they can cause tremendous malady. Infections are common and intense physical pain is a frequent companion. Hearing is compromised which leads to partial conversations and feelings of isolation. And then there are the many precautions and worries that ensue. No swimming. No boating. No water in your ear whatsoever, for the loss of a barrier puts the mastoid at risk and that infection can lead to something much worse.
All this from something so little. An eardrum. I could not fix it until Zeke was in a place where he didn’t need me to pick him up and hold him and it took years for him to feel secure enough in himself. Years to be able to calm himself apart from me, not needing my body to be an extension of his own. My well-being came after his, and given the fact that repair was recommended but not immediate, I trusted I would know when the time was right. So, I waited through the recurrent infections, the pain, the frustration of it all.
I had successfully avoided the Mall of America all season until this morning, when I decided to go make a return. I hadn’t been there in a few months, so I was surprised to see quite a few new stores, one of which was a cosmetics store called Morphe. It is a huge establishment that focuses on over the top, dramatic looks, some of which are really quite fun. Looking more closely at the large ads appearing in and out of the store, I realize this store is a little different than an average cosmetic store; this store is marketing make up to both men and women. Hence Morphe. You can be whomever you want to be. The current ad focus is on a pretty, young male youtube personality who was dressed in a provocatively short, white belted coat dress with provocatively tall, white heeled boots at the grand opening in November. Morphe.
We are in a season of wonder. As we prepare and read and ponder and reflect on how this awesome God of ours became flesh. Born to live among us. Fully God. Fully man. Prophecy fulfilled. Promises kept. Year after year, we meditate on these truths, trying to fully comprehend this miracle we call Christmas. Emmanuel. God with us.
I imagine most parents of special needs kids go through brief periods of relative bliss. Like life is “normal”. Like your kid is “normal”. Whatever your normal is. Like things are humming along just fine. And then, due to this gift of distraction from reality, you lose your edge, take your eyes off the road in front of you, brake too late, and slam into the back of a semi truck. That’s pretty much how I would describe our IEP meeting at Zeke’s school yesterday. I walked in thinking we had this school thing all figured out and I walked out feeling like I had no clue and perhaps I need to be back in kindergarten too.