Today was just another event among dozens that I could describe exactly the same way: they/we had fun; he did not. We took a long walk (he rode in the stroller at least half the time) to a nearby spray ground. Sunscreened, swim-suited, sunglassed...everything was fine for a while.
Then, for the third summer in a row, Shu stood 20 feet away from the fountains, staring morosely at the other children--not just his siblings, but toddlers at least half his age--running and splashing with glee. He did come near at one point, got a few drips of water on his head, screamed, and then had a mini-tantrum only slightly muffled by the noise of the water. Walking home he slammed his head into a metal sign, and later tripped and fell on the sidewalk, also a common occurrence.
Like I said, not the first time. This describes almost every single park and pool outing for the last two summers. We seem to be doing OK with parks now; I haven't taken him swimming yet. And maybe I just won't. Can you blame me?
It's so difficult to try to create fun experiences for my family, to stand there watching most of my children running and playing and savoring life, knowing that one isn't. Knowing that the first twelve months of his life, whatever they entailed, wired him unable to enjoy what typical children enjoy, or at least, to require a two year warm-up period. Trying to focus on the joy most of us are feeling without feeling overly responsible for the misery one child is feeling.
These are the moments I question that we were the right family for Shu. Maybe he deserved a family--a one child family--who could (or would) just keep him in his safe bubble for as many months or years as necessary without having to juggle constantly the needs and desires of other children in the family. Other times I feel thrilled that he came to a family with three older siblings, and now gets to be a big brother himself! I know in my heart that we ARE the right family. But boy, days like this are exhausting.
"...follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and endurance." (NLT) Hebrews 6:12