Monday, April 6, 2015

Joshua's Advice to a New Parent

So, this girl that Holly went to college with at Ouachita...had a precious baby boy last week. It wasn't long before some of my friends were texting me about it, wondering if I'd heard. OBU is a small college, so it's easy to keep in contact with people after graduation...if you want to. This girl was in Holly's same sorority (social club), and Holly pledged under her.

The reason why people were contacting me about this girl was...her baby has Down Syndrome.

I remember this girl, and I knew she was pregnant again. I had not heard she'd had the baby, or anything about it. Bless their hearts!

As an older mom looking back, I wanted to tell my friend, "Oh, how WONDERFUL for them!" But, I know some of the struggles that are ahead. These young parents are not in the same place I am now...because, with age comes a lot of perspective.

Oh, people sometimes call it "wisdom," but I call it "TIME." 

And "learning from my mistakes." 

And, "learning to see the big picture."

These young ones? Well, I'm sure they are feeling many emotions.

I thought about it for a while. Things are more different now than even just 29 years ago, when I had Joshua. There seems to be more knowledge...more acceptance of...more services for...kids with DS. I hope that's the case, anyway. I told Holly, and the friend who texted me, that I would be more than happy to visit with the family at any time...when THEY'RE ready.

I warmed up some "re-runs" for Joshua's lunch. That's what he calls, "left-overs." I decided to see what he would have to say about the situation with Holly's friend, and I tried to prepare myself for anything he might say. I wanted him to say his honest opinions.

I didn't know if he would say, like one of his friends did, that he wished he didn't have Down Syndrome. He already told me that the main thing he's looking forward to when he gets to Heaven is: "no moles (don't know what brought that on) and no Downs." I didn't know if he would talk about feeling left-out, like when his 4th grade teacher had the names of all of his classmates on their desks, but didn't have a desk for him. Or if he would remember about the kids at school who told him he "had a messed-up brain." I didn't know if he would want to talk about the things he didn't get to do, like drive a car or go to college.

You have to be so careful with Joshua, because he is easily influenced if he thinks you want him to say a certain thing. So, no "leading" questions...no trying to fill in the blanks for him...no, assuming what he might be trying to say.

I said, "hey, Joshua...a friend of Holly's just had a brand-new baby boy...and he has Down Syndrome like you!"

He said, "oh, WOW!"

I said, "what do you think about that?"

He said, "that's a pretty good kid if he came out like that."

I asked him if he had any advice for the new parents and he said, "what advice did you get when you had me?" I told him how my friend, Karen Alexander (Doyel), came over to visit after we brought him home from the hospital...about how she sat on our couch and held him while we talked. She told me, "just love him."

And how I thought, "well, that's EASY! Look how cute he is!"

(Joshua just grinned and grinned when I said that part)

Joshua said, "I'll go with that, too. Love him. And train him up to be a man of God."

And then he started quoting Scripture after Scripture at me, and I could not EVEN keep up. I had been trying to discretely type his answers on my cell phone without him knowing what I was doing. OH MY GOODNESS, my boy knows his Bible!

He said that the book of James says that trials will come, and that Joshua 1:9 says to be "strong and courageous." These are the two passages that I remember.

Basically, he said for them to train their baby boy to have the faith of Joshua-from-the-Bible, and to be a leader for his generation.

He ended his sermon talk with these words: "I turned out okay, and he will, too."

He is so precious.

Holly sent her friend a message last week, and showed me the response she got. Her friend told Holly that her kind words and encouragement meant so much. Now, I have no idea what Holly said, but I'm sure it could not have been more honest and sincere than, "my brother said he turned out okay...and your baby will, too."

"For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made...Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began." (Psalm 139: 13-14, 16)

4 comments:

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! :)

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  2. We have been on our journey with our sweet Benjamin for almost 6 years now. Our greatest prayer for his life is that he will love Jesus with all that he is. This encourages me SO much. Thank you! I blog about our story at www.reflectionsfromholland.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I would LOVE to read your blog! :)

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