Thursday, June 12, 2014

Not just a bat boy

As a new mommy to a baby boy, a baby boy who also had Down Syndrome, my hormones and emotions were darting around more haphazardly than a summer moth trying to escape the confines of a lampshade.

One particular stormy day, I compared my emotions to waves in the ocean. For then, for now, it has proven to be a fairly accurate comparison.

"Some [waves] are so big, they pull my feet right out from under me and leave me fighting for breath. Others are soothing, comforting, rafts upon which I find comfort and solace.
The emotions I have experienced upon learning of Baker's diagnosis have been no different. From the dark December day we learned there was a heightened chance of our child being born with Down Syndrome, to this cheery July afternoon, emotions have abounded. What began as fear, uncertainty, trepidation, bitterness, and worry, intense worry...emotions so strong, they pulled me under, drowning me, have transpired into joy, unspeakable joy, a wave begging to be ridden."

Those words were just a few I wrote on that July afternoon. The entire entry is posted here.

While those words were written almost 2 years ago, I sometimes, albeit much less frequently, feel the crashing waves just as strongly.

This past week, as I was seeing the adorable pictures of baseball and wee ball and t-ball and me ball and you ball flooding my news feed, I felt the air slowly oozing out of my raft.

The water was rising, and a big wave was at my back, ready to take me under.

I was admiring the rosy cheeks, the sweat drenched hair, the red dirt plastered on little cheeks, and the grass stains no bleach or cleaning agent could rid. Fears and doubts were rearing their ugly head.

Would Baker one day be included in those pictures?
Will he be able to play little league baseball?
Could I one day endure the discomfort that comes from shopping for a wee little cup?

Or would he stand on the sidelines, cheering them on? Would he be just a bat boy?

Shame on me for letting those thoughts fester.
Shame on me for entertaining the idea that Baker can be anything less than what he sets in his mind.

Baker is more than just a bat boy. If he chooses, he will one day wear a shirt emblazoned with his name and number on the back. Cleats could one day sit at our back door. Like other mothers, I too, would fight the raging battle of removing red dirt from white ball pants. Of picking forsaken sunflower seeds from the bottom of the washing machine.

I'm so glad Baker couldn't hear my thoughts.
The thoughts that suggested that his disability defines his abilities.

If a bat boy is what he wants to be, then by golly, I will cheer him on and he will forever be my most favorite bat boy.

But if that boy, my boy, who throws anything and everything like it's his J-O-B wants to swing a bat, feel and hear the song of the metal connecting with the ball, sling a pitch from that treasured mound of dirt, run the bases, pick clovers in the outfield, slide into home and feel the seconds transpire into hours as the umpire's decision is proclaimed, feel the red laces of a ball dance on his fingertips, drink blue Gatorade from a cooler, pray the Lord's prayer behind first base, high five and victory dance all the way to the car, then I will cheer him and he will forever be my most favorite ball player.

My Baker has Down Syndrome, but he doesn't have to be a bat boy, or live life from the sidelines.

My prayers, my love, my words, my actions, and all my energy will always affirm Baker and the choices he makes to be the boy my God made him to be. We know some things will be more difficult. In just two short years, that has been proven. Sitting, and crawling, and standing, and walking, and talking, and self-feeding, among other daily tasks, have been harder for him than they are for some children. But with perseverance, dedication, a lot of love and support and faith and tears, he's done them. And, in true Baker Bell form, with a healthy does of flair and a lot of personality.

I wrote this for me. I scripted the words on the pages of my journal just a few short days ago. They were meant to clear my head and empty my heart. But I continued to feel God leading me to share them here. In this space. In my little corner of the Internet.

So here it is.
For me, for you.
For His glory.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you are not just a bat boy.
You can do more than live life from the sidelines.
"Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all for the glory of the Lord."
Colossians 3:17
Jump in.
Get your feet wet.
Get your hands dirty.
Do things that make you uncomfortable.
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalms 37:4
Test your faith.
Be bold.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7
Meet new people.
Trust in Him.
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and you will succeed."
Proverbs 16:3
He will guide your paths.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

No comments:

Post a Comment