Going Backwards


Jackson’s new obsession…driving backward on a little red car that was the best 20 some odd dollars Nathan ever spent on his first daddy/daughter shopping spree with Emalynn when she was 8 months old…spanning 3 babies!  He told me that night that he needed to make a lot of money because buying toys for our kids was going to be REALLY fun!  Clearly Jackson is very proud of himself and his new skill…though he seems to find himself stuck quite often.  That blasted kitchen rug…and oh those bar stools…dash it all!  Know the feeling?  I sure do!

Many of us looked out the window yesterday morning in disgust.  Snow…in April!?  Well…it is Michigan but I don’t ever recall snow this late…even in Michigan.  It will probably be 80 degrees next week and we’ll need to mow our lawns.  Stranger things have happened before I suppose but looking at all of my Spring blouses and fabulous open-toed shoes I couldn’t help but feel like we were going backward when I had to pull out the winter boots.  Bummer, dude! 

As a mom regression is never a good feeling…especially when we’re talking about…you guessed it…potty training.  How many times did I optimistically think “maybe today is the day” about a year ago when Maxwell 2 1/2 hoping we could ditch the pull-ups.  That lasted a good 4 months…4 months!  Emalynn had it down in 4 minutes!  (As I repeat to myself…don’t compare my children…don’t compare my children…don’t compare my children…)  We would do well for an entire day and then he’d be outside playing and before I knew it…”Uh-oh…mama…I’m sowwy.  I tinkled.  That happens…it was just and accpibent.  Maxwell’s just do that sometimes.”  Yup…we went backwards.  No fun!  But…we got through it and praise the Lord he was potty trained before his 3rd birthday…certainly not without incident but hey…he did it!

This past fall I experienced a regression in terms of sleep…not fun for a mama who needs a lot of it!  After just over 6 months of sleeping through the night Jackson made a complete regression at 8 1/2 months old.  It’s amazing how quickly you get used to sleeping all night after being up with a newborn.  He decided to start getting up 2-3 times in the night for nothing less than a clean, dry diaper and most certainly a bottle..2 to 3 times!  We think it started with teething, then a little cold and then it just turned into a habit that lasted nearly 4 months.  In hindsight I should have never given him that first bottle at 2 a.m. when he was awake with swollen gums…but I know he was hungry…it’s Jackson after all.  I came back to bed and Nathan said to me in shock…”You fed him!?  You’re nuts!  I can’t believe you did that!  Big mistake!”  Yup…it was a big mistake that cost me nearly 4 months of sleeping through the night.  That lasted longer than Jackson’s newborn stage…twice as long!  Thankfully…we’re over that!

So many times I’ve tearfully in complete frustration said to Nathan in agonizing pain…”I feel like I’m starting all over again!”  How…after I’ve come so far…do I end up back where I started?  It just doesn’t seem right.  For one step forward I seem to take two steps back…another ailment arises or my hormones are all out of whack or I start to get migraines on top of the pain!  Then someone who loves me and only wants to see me well suggests a great new drug or more exercise or “I know what you need!  Antioxidants!”  NO!  Enough!  I don’t want to go back to that place…to being dependent on a drug or a supplement or chained in addiction to exercise.  Do you know what that was like?  It was awful and dark and lonely!  But…I just can’t seem to go forward!  Do you know how easy it is to get down!  To start to feel sorry for myself!  To get depressed and try to handle it on my own!  Then I start to get mad. 

STOP! 

If I give into those feelings…if I let myself get down…if I allow myself to try to handle it on my own…then I am right back where I started.  BUT…if I give it to the Lord…if I choose to simply trust Him…I’m not alone…I’m not back where I started.  I’m moving forward…on His path that He’s laid out for me…not my own.  I have a choice to make…not every day…not every hour…but every minute.  For a planner like me…that is really tough…no not really tough…extremely almost impossibly tough.  But it’s getting easier…and I don’t have to do it by myself!

When Jackson gets hung up on rugs and bar stools and running into walls and furniture I am amazed by his tenacity to keep going.  His persistence is so inspiring.  I pray that character trait stays with him.  I pray that I become more like him in that way…more persistent on this path of constant struggle.  I don’t want to give up and sit down and cry every time I get frustrated…I want to get back up and keep going.  And I certainly don’t want to go backwards…I can’t…I won’t…and thanks to the Lord and what He has done for me…I don’t have to!  He’s been there…He’s walked in my shoes…He has suffered far greater than I have. 

I was thinking today about how Jesus must have felt up there on that cross.  He died alone and betrayed…killed by the very people He made.  And He said… “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  I’m still in awe that He made the choice to become human…not just for His time here on earth…but forever…that is mind-blowing!  I mean…that’s quite a sacrifice!  He left the splendor and majesty of heaven to be born in a barn…to excruciatingly die rejected and humiliated…to rise again, still a human, so that you and I might live.  That is the epitome of going backwards.  And it makes me think…I really don’t have all that much to complain about…how about you?

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

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