Protecting Our Relationship
Our relationship is difficult. Aren’t they all? She eludes me. Her sisters were simple, easy to know, easy to pour into, easy to love, easy to understand. Leilani however, she is different. From early on, I struggled with her. She isn’t unlovable, but she is harder to figure out how she feels loved. So I have struggled with how to pour into her and to build a strong foundation.
We recently put her into therapy and it has helped her and I more than I could imagine. She has what is called SPD (sensory processing disorder), and learning about it and relating her sensory issues to her behavior has helped me understand her better. It feels like God has given me a key to unlock and decipher the code. Not only have I been able to connect with her in healthier ways, but I have been able to handle her behavior better.
I have been learning how to protect my relationship with her. Being a Mommy is hard and sometimes at the end of a hard day, its difficult to feel satisfied with my relationship with her. She drains me like no one else is able to. She pushes my buttons, and she drives me up the wall sometimes. But I have to fight harder to love her and to protect my love for her. I have to choose to see beyond the dramatic, emotionally frenzied day we had together, and choose to rather see the precious gift she is and the honor it is to be her Mommy. I have to choose to see the joy, not the strife.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8, NIV
She has an unquenchable thirst for my attention, and I have to choose to give her the security that I am here for her and that I am not annoyed by her, but rather delighted in her. Forging relationships can be hard, even between parent and child. And while my love is undeniably deep for her, my actions and my flesh need to overcome the difficulties and the struggle with raising Leilani and handling her SPD.
When Leilani was born, I remember telling her how thankful I was for her. And today I am thankful still for all that I have learned from her. I have had to learn how to see the world around me differently. I have had to learn to pay attention to details, to notice things that I would otherwise not even be privy to. To see how the world around her is connecting to her emotions, her curiosity, and her senses. And for that I am thankful. She is worth protecting. My love for her is worth protecting. Her and I are worth fighting for.
“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.” Galatians 6:9, The Message