Within a week of Tullie’s birth, two or three other babies were born at our church. They were all typical healthy kids. I thought, “She’s gonna have a lot of friends.” I also think that as mothers and friends when all of our babies are being born around the same time we think, “All of our kids are going to be friends FOREVER! It’s so GREAT! Cause we’re friends FOREVER!” (Maybe that’s too may capped words and exclamation points, but seriously, ladies, don’t we act a little high schoolish thinking that we’re really going to live near one another FOREVER and then devastated when we move or our kids aren’t as great of friends as we thought they would be?)
As these “friends” of Tullie’s were growing up, I was taking her back and forth to doctor’s appointments and we were a revolving door for therapists, I was watching these other kids grow and jealousy and comparison was seeping into my heart and I really thought that my kid was never ever ever gonna catch up.
The truth was, she was going to catch up-just later. Not at the milestones as “typical” kids but when she was ready to do it.
She was sitting up by her first birthday
She was crawling by her second birthday.
She was walking by Christmas after her third birthday.
As I compared her to friends’ kids, I began to dislike my situation more and more. Rather then accepting her I was rejecting her. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE her, but when life doesn’t turn out as you expect in your kids, it’s hard. I didn’t expect to STILL be carrying around a three year old to get to the shopping cart.
As moms, whether our children are typical or have a disability, we compare. We compare a lot. We compare our homes. We compare our cars. We compare our hair. We compare our children’s behavior. We compare their education. We compare how we delivered our children. We compare how we feed our children. We compare our husbands. We compare how many children someone else has. We compare EV.ER.Y.THING! Whether it be through Facebook, Blogs or Pinterest, we’re a bunch of comparers.
If I wasn’t comparing Tullie to a friends’ child’s ability, then I was comparing her outfit to theirs.
Eventually one day, someone said, “Tullie’s just gonna move at her own pace. She’s doing fantastic.” As one of Tullie’s “friends” now two was running by following his mom at church.
Tullie slowly broke down my habit of comparing. I couldn’t do it anymore. The only thing it was doing in my heart was making me jealous for things that I didn’t have and make me envious. It wasn’t going to do me a bit of good to sit and compare with every child who passed by. It wasn’t going to do me any good to compare and want what other people had when I had to learn to be content with what I had been given-or had been taken away.
Comparing never does us any good. The only thing it does is seep jealousy, greediness and yearning in our hearts for things that we may or may not need, or it makes us prideful for what we have and others don’t.
I still struggle with this. There’s always something that my sinful heart wants that it doesn’t have, and I struggle with being grateful and content in what I’ve been blessed with. The latest gadget or the prettiest house or the most well behaved child doesn’t give us contentment. That simply comes in resting in the hope and love that God has already given through His Son. It’s so simple….yet so difficult to grasp sometimes.
Before I started writing this, I was watching the kids play outside with one another. They were all jumping on the trampoline. Laughing. Jumping. Laughing. Jumping. I could hear Tullie’s laughter the most, and I thought, “She’s jumping with her siblings. She’s in her happy place. They all are. Enjoying one another. Not comparing abilities, but rather accepting one another where they’re at.”
Trying to…”rest in the joy of what my Lord is…” Allen Redpath