Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Gifts from Heaven
I like to believe that children end up in the families in which God destined them to be. I know it isn’t always true given the stories of abuse and neglect, but I hope that it is mostly true. One of my favorite movies when I was a child was very old, in black and white – I don’t know its name – and it told the story of children waiting in Heaven for their particular family. The children in movie Heaven were usually around 5-7 years old, but when it came time for them to join their appointed family, they went as babies. I get warm fuzzy feelings inside thinking that all my children were waiting in Heaven to join me at the time ordained. And those warm fuzzies get even warmer and fuzzier when I spend afternoons like I did yesterday around children who were not waiting in Heaven for me.
When Amy and I took Ashley to her neurologist appointment late yesterday afternoon, we walked into a very crowded waiting room. Since we arrived about 5 minutes before our 4:15 pm appointment time, I realized that we were going to be waiting quite a while.
Anticipating a long wait, I had packed a backpack with enough stuff to keep Ashley amused for a while. Apparently the other mothers in that waiting room didn’t think about that.
Two brothers, one about 6 years old and the other maybe 3 years old, were both very social, social to the point of annoying. Both couldn’t wait until we were through the door to come rushing up to Ashley. The looked her over, and then looked some more. The youngest took the handles of her wheelchair and wanted to play with her chair. That same child then tried to open Ashley’s backpack to see what was inside. The oldest kept asking questions – “Why is her eye like that?”, “What’s wrong with her?” (always one of my favorite questions…). I decided that since we might be sharing the waiting room for a while that I wouldn’t be rude and tell the obnoxious little creatures to leave us alone. I was hoping their mother would take over at some point, but all she did was say ,”Get your butts back over here” without taking her eyes off the magazine she was reading. Needless to say, their butts didn’t go anywhere. Just as I thought I would be spending the next hour or so trying to ignore them, in walked another family that was impossible to ignore.
A mom and her young son approached the waiting room. I knew they were approaching even though the door was shut because the child was emitting loud, piercing screams. It was like an ambulance pulling up behind your car – the sounds keeps getting louder and louder as the ambulance approaches. Once in the waiting room, the screams persisted punctuated only by the boy throwing himself face first to the floor for about 5 seconds before jumping up again and resuming his screaming. Interspersed with the screams was some very colorful language – language that in my family gets a mouth washed with soap.
Although it was hard to pinpoint the boy’s age, he was not an infant or even a toddler. Once or twice when the screams stopped, he was capable of carrying on a conversation with his mother. The mother took him to the bathroom at one point, his screams echoing down the hall, and the doctor’s receptionist looked at the rest of us in the waiting room and said, “I don’t think I will ever have children.” As they returned from the bathroom, the siren screams increasing with each step closer, we were finally called back to see the doctor. I told the neurologist that I was so very glad to see him and I meant it with every cell in my body. I think he understood why.
So, thank you God for sending Chip, Ashley, Corey and Jessica to me. And thank you for sending the other children in the waiting room to their parents.
p.s. Check out the interview that Michele at the Special Needs Parent blog did with me.