Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. Psalm 126:2
“Whose idea was this?” This is what I ask my husband as our son sits and screams on the bathroom floor.
“Whose idea was what?”
“Parenthood. Which one of us thought that was a great idea?”
We know, we know. We did. God did. God thought we were equipped for this journey, and he blessed us with these headstrong and challenging kids.
But, honestly…we were not standing in line screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!” for one of these battles. Truthfully, I always thought God knew I was not strong or patient enough to handle some of these things parenthood brings, let alone what autism brings with it.
And, finally…I’m not always strong or patient. There are times I really don’t know how to handle it at all.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. Proverbs 31:25
I have found the dignity and strength many times to conquer the tantrums, take on the flailing arms, flying Legos, and ear-piercing screams of one little boy, but as he kicked and screamed in the tub. As he slapped me with his rag. Dumped water in my lap, and screamed louder, I lost all dignity. I had no strength left. I had no clue what else to do.
So, I just looked at the little monster in the tub, and laughed. Loud. Uncontrollably. Yes, that’s right. While, I should have had the situation under control, I decided instead to laugh at it.
To laugh at it, because I know there is more of this in my future.
Even in laughter, the heart may ache; and the end of joy may be grief. Proverbs 14:13
Oh, the grief. The pain. The heartache. Most definitely returns.
See, that question-“Whose idea was this?” Although maybe a bit twisted, a tad inappropriate, the question is actually an important one. What we are really asking is this-Are we in this together? Are you with me on this one? We agree on this, right?
Because, we know all too well that while we play a tug of war with our boy, we also do the same with each other. The doting and cuddling momma, and the disciplinarian dad don’t always agree.
We are also well aware of the grim statistics of those who parent children with special needs. The statistics that say we will not make it. That we will remain broken. At war with each other. In a constant tug between pain and heartache.
So, with God’s help we choose instead to look at each other, joke about what we can’t change, and laugh. Together.
We choose to laugh despite the heartache, struggle, and challenges we know we will face again. Laugh at the future we also know is uncertain.
To laugh at this crazy thing called parenthood, just to keep our strength and dignity. Just to stay sane.
Because, although we didn’t pick this one, and we actually didn’t plan on parenthood a third time so soon, we can rejoice in the fact that we are the parents God intended us to be.
Up for a challenge definitely not chosen. With no fancy parenting formula but simple laughter.
Laughing at the times we have now, and those to come…because, really? Sometimes, there just isn’t much else left to do!