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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Word On Joy

I’ve been thinking a lot about joy and happiness lately.

It all started when I read another blog entry about parents of special needs children finding joy in the things they can. Then over the Thanksgiving holiday I remember thinking of that blog and feeling such happiness and joy with my children and husband there. It was so far from where we could have been had things not turned out the way they did after Christian’s accident.

I then went to church last Sunday and the sermon was about joy during the holiday season. The pastor spoke about finding joy in the season and what it means. He spoke about finding joy despite the hard times that everyone is going through. And then something really stuck with me – I can’t quote him verbatim, but it went a little something like this…

Claim joy as your own, not to deny whatever horrible things you are going through. Claim joyous moments to defy the horrible things you are going through.

It stuck to me and stuck hard. It's easy for me to laugh. It is easy to find joy for me because it’s comfortable. I’m not saying I walk around with a smile on my face all the time, ask my husband. I definitely have my moments of breakdown – I’m 9 months pregnant, I think I’d be weird if I didn’t. But looking back, I think I’m more joyful and laugh more and I’m happier in a sense than before the accident. Not by accident, but because I’ve made a choice to do this and to try and live this way every day. I'm not great at it, most days I'm truly joyful and I think my laugh is even louder now than before. But some days I have to fake it 'til I make it.

I do look at pictures of myself from before the accident and I think, “There I was, untouched by tragedy. Completely unfazed, taking every day for granted. That girl doesn’t even know what’s coming.” It’s a sadness I feel when I look at that person because I’m so jealous of her innocence and naivete. But, in a way, I’ve found a different kind of happiness. The kind you have to try for and “claim as your own.” It's a conscious choice to claim joy as my own so I NEVER take for granted a single moment with those who I love again.

Anyway, I wanted to share things we do when we’re at home. I call this Mommy therapy. These are things we do at home and little things that help Christian.

These are some of my moments of joy...mismatched pajamas included.
This is called a Tumble Form Chair. It helps Christian's posture and alignment. And since he's been moving his head back and forth, this is the best position for him to practice this.

To the left! To the left!

(For all you that don't know, Christian's head lives on the right side and he's just recently started moving his head to midline and to the right.)

Recently, I've been sitting Christian upside down with his legs up at a 45-90 degree angle. This is to help flatten his back when he gets in his "archy" moods. It also relaxes his legs.

The silver pom pom to the left is really good for a couple of things. It makes a sound that catches Christian's attention giving him auditory stimulation. It is large, shiny, and reflective which stimulates his visual abilities. And it's a good tactile stimulant. Christian can dig his hands into it or we put it over his legs and he'll move his legs against it. It's a good tool all around.


Brooke said...

Wow! Wonderful post and SO true! It's so very easy to take every single day for granted! I do see a lot of tragedy in the ER where I work and I think that helps keep me reminded of how things *could* be but even still I need to find joy in everything!! Thank you so much for this entry! It sets things in perspective for sure!!
Awesome pics of that handsome Christian of yours! He's changing so much and getting SO big!!!! :-). Again you inspire me Shauna- what an awesome woman/mommy/human you are!! Much love and prayers to you as you begin even yet another new journey with a new baby girl very soon!

Shelley said...

What a beautiful post! I've been following Christian's progess from the beginning and he is doing such an amazing job! He really looks great in those pics and they put a huge smile on my face! I just know that he is going to do remarkable things! Best wishes with your new addition!

sunflourchic said...

lol, mismatched pj's. mine are always in mismatched jammies. :)

this is such a wonderful post, thank you. reminds me i really need to appreciate everything we are given. good, bad, hard, easy times....we have a choice to be happy, we just have to choose it. big hugs!

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