Monday, February 6, 2012

St. Francis Prayer

Every couple of months I hear a statement like these:  "Oh, I remember when my kids didn't talk, it was delightful. I wish that were still the case."  or  "Oh, be glad your little one doesn't walk, they just get in everything when they do."

Usually they are looking at a baby, not doing whatever they were wishing about.  Sometimes it is walking, or talking, or reading.  Whatever it is, these comments have always rubbed me a bit rough. I've heard these statements since Alyssa was little.  I've always been a big believer that every developmental stage has joys and challenges.  Sure, when kids learn to walk they start getting into everything, but they also can walk to the car on their own!  When kids learn to talk, they might talk your ear off, but they also are now able to communicate their wants and needs with less frustration!  When kids learn to read, you can no longer say to your beloved "do you want I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M?" without your little one saying "Wo-hoo! Ice cream!", but they can now read you a bedtime story!

With Matthew, these statements really rub me wrong.  I hear this kind of statement and start talking in my head: "Oh, you don't appreciate that your typically developing child can do something that is developmentally appropriate? You don't have to spend hours upon hours in therapy to get him/her to talk (or walk)? You don't pray every night that he/she will one day be able to say a sentence (or run down the street)?  You didn't spend countless hours with your little one, saying 'ma-ma' over and over again, exaggerating your facial movements, to the point that people in the doctor's waiting rooms must have thought you were insane? Must be annoying how your little one does all that talking (or walking)!" But I don't say anything out loud, usually.

I heard a similar statement last night, and I did say something, nothing big and nasty like the above, but a quiet "You only wish that because they can, if they couldn't, you wouldn't."  I should have just kept my mouth shut. One of my New Year's resolutions was to pray the prayer of St. Francis everyday.  

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
I didn't do a very good job of living it last night.  Everyone complains about the everyday stuff. We aren't always at our best and appreciate what we have.  I know I am not, and don't.  As hard as Matthew has to struggle to walk and talk, he has it a lot easier than many kids.  Kids whom will never learn to talk or walk.  Some who didn't get the chance to celebrate their 2nd birthdays. I don't always appreciate that, just as this mom didn't appreciate the beauty of her kids' very typical development.  I need to work on everything in the prayer, but last night just reminded me that I really need to work on being more understanding, and less worried about being understood.

1 comment:

  1. You are human and you are entitled to get frustrated from time to time. I am always praying for you all.