Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Soccer Practice

Little Man started soccer last night. And I think I was the only parent there without a camera. It was a little chaotic as there were about 200 kids on 4 fields and it was the first day. But we figured out where to go, got Little Man the team T-shirt and his very own ball and met the coaches. The kids were a riot. There are 24-ish kids on his team and they were all kicking the balls in circles, running into each other, falling down, playing in the dirt, twirling. After practicing dribbling and toe taps for awhile, they moved on to 4 on 4 play. Little Man seems to like the goalie position. We'll see. Overall, he had a wonderful time and did great.

I, on the other hand, may have won the prize for crying in the most embarrassing location and making myself known as the "crazy mom." There is a boy on his team with Down syndrome and it just pushed me over the edge. He doesn't look anything like our sweet J, but some of the movements, mannerisms, vocalizations were so similar that it brought me back to when J was alive and well. At one point, the boy laughed and I spun around looking for J. It was a knife through the heart and I totally lost it. I was trying to be as discreet as possible; but seriously, how to you sob discreetly on the sidelines of a very populated soccer field? Yes, I did say sob...for, like, 20 minutes. *Awesome*

After I reigned it in a bit, I spent probably equal amounts of time watching the boy and Little Man and went back and forth between tearing up and laughing out loud. Little Man is hysterical. Talk about needed comic relief, too!

Every time I looked at the boy, it brought back beautiful, fun memories of my happy Jameson. But it also made me think about what J could and should be doing now. I try so hard not to think about the could and should because it isn't helpful or healthy to go down that road. Sometimes I can't help it, though. And last night, my dreams for J's futures flooded my mind and died all over again. He was so vibrant and wonderful and he was going to have such an awesome life. He was going to surprise everyone by succeeding in so many things and changing the way people think about Down syndrome. He was supposed to play sports and learn to read and be best friends with Little Man forever and go to college. We were going to build him a little cottage next to our house so we could always have him close. Not for his sake, but for ours. Because we knew that 18 years wouldn't be enough time with him. And now we are stuck making do with 3.

And I'm having a hell of a time being grateful when what I want most in the world is to have my son back. I wonder if that boy's parents know how lucky they are to still have their son at age 5? I look around at parks and stores and school and wonder if the parents out there who don't know the loss of a child really get how lucky they are? And I ask God why can't I be that lucky? Why did my boy have to die? I read stories about parents whose prayers were answered and their children, who were at death's door, were brought back to life and I want to know why He didn't answer my prayers. What did we do wrong? After I lost the baby in March I couldn't help but wonder what is wrong with me -am I unfit to be a mother? Is that why He is taking away my children?

But I know those are all lies. God loves me and He loves Jameson. And I don't want to be so selfish in wishing J were here when he is in Paradise. I don't want to be so ungrateful for not having him longer when it is a miraculous gift that we had him at all. I don't want to be so ignorant to think that my life is extraordinarily tragic when the child mortality rate is so high throughout the world.

But I still miss my J. And sometimes the sadness of missing him is so great it distorts the truth that this life is a gift. That my God is good. That I have a lot to be thankful for.

Sigh. All this from a soccer practice.

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