Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Silver linings

Big Guy is heading back to school today, after two mental health days. Real mental health days: a couple of traumatic incidents two weeks ago plunged him into an anxiety-induced depression. At the end of last week his school social worker called, saying she thought we should take him in for a psych eval. We'd already guessed we were headed in that direction.

We've been down this road before. As a parent, it means pushing aside personal feelings and struggling to focus my tear-blurred heart on what's best for Big Guy. It helps that this isn't the first time. It helps that we have a good support team in place. It helps that we have friends who pray for us and offer their support.

A while back I ran across a saying I like:

Sometimes we're so busy looking for gold that we miss the silver lining.

When you have a child who comes with a lot of dark clouds, you need to hone your silver lining-seeing skills. It's not enough -- and honestly it's not enough for anyone, at any time, with any kind of child -- to funk your way through the day, grousing about difficulty and focused on imperfections. If you can see clouds, it's because there's light behind them. Your life will be a lot easier when you train your eyes to see it.

Having Big Guy has taught me to be thankful for every day I have with my child. His troubles have taught me humility. They have showed me the map of my own frustrations and weaknesses, and taught me the difference between reacting and responding to my children. Big Guy has made me realize I'm not as good a person as I thought I was. He has given me the impetus to become a better human being. He has taught me patience (the hard way) and discernment (the hard way) and resourcefulness  (the hard way). I would have chosen the easy path, had it been offered. But I'd rather be on this path with my son than not at all.


  1. Yes, I'm a big believer in silver linings.

  2. better to understand what's going on, right? Kate

  3. Beautifully expressed words of wisdom for all parents -- thanks. I wish you and your son well.