The Hard Questions
"Why is it harder for me to ride my bike?"
"Why do I have to go to the doctor all the time?"
"Why can't we hug Sydney when we have a cough?"
These are just a few and I know some of you have even harder ones that your little ones ask. What is the right answer? I am learning a lot in this area. My girls are getting to an age where they are very observant about what is going on around them. They see how others act and know when something is different. And so we have been answering a lot of questions.
They way I may answer these questions in a year may change but as of right now we talk about how God has made everyone different. I think kids connect to real life examples, something they can see. So we have watched lots of videos of little kids having a cast put on, or someone putting on a shirt with a weak side. I let them see videos of adults who have overcome so much and still trust God's plan for their life. My personal favorite video is one of Nick Vujicic. He challenges you to be thankful for the things you are able to do and it is amazing to see the things he has pushed himself to learn how to do with no arms or legs.
I have a friend who has children with cystic fibrosis and they visited a family who had boys with asthma. When her daughter saw the boys doing a breathing treatment, she stated that they were doing exactly what she has to do. It was normal. When we expose our children to other things that are different then we can begin to normalize it.
We took Liana to Constraint Induced Movement Therapy Camp about 2 years ago. At the time she wore a brace (AFO) on her foot that had little hearts all over it. When we walked into the camp, there were about 10 other children there. And then Liana got so happy and pointed to me a little girl, "Mommy, her brace looks just like mine!" It was the first real time Liana had been in a room with other children that were in the exact same boat as she was.
One thing we talk about a lot is how we can help others. We talk about the experiences we go through will be used one day to help someone else. We told Adleigh about a little girl with a heart condition recently and Adleigh prayed for her daily because she made an immediate connection with her own heart issues.
As a mom, the best thing I can do is show that with whatever situation we have, that it can be overcome and that God can use those things for good. He can show His glory through those situations. It takes having a positive attitude even when you are having to fight back tears and a lot of leaning into God for His strength. But I know my children will be strong, have their own story to tell one day and will be able to help so many others with their personal experiences.