Sunday, June 17, 2012

Losing It by Cori Salchert, mom of eight

When I was pregnant with my third baby and very hormonal, I spent most of my days chasing around an almost 2-year-old boy who never walked, only ran. I also had a 3-year-old daughter who had some speech difficulties. Sarah called her younger brother “baby” for a couple of years until I told her he was a little boy now. She then switched to calling out, “Hey boy, come here” whenever she wanted him. Despite her best efforts (and mine), her speech difficulties remained.

"I know now
she wasn’t being
disobedient or rebellious."

One evening I lost it. When she responded, “kanku” instead of “thank you” I decided to take matters into my own hands. Her speech wasn’t good enough and I was going to straighten her out here and now. “Say,  ‘Thank you!’” I repeated louder. Intimidated, she drew in a breath and carefully replied, “kanku.” It grieves me to admit I went back and forth with her for a good 15 minutes – she in tears and me insisting she say it correctly – before my husband intervened.

All but one of our kids experienced speech struggles. And I grew more comfortable with how to lovingly mother them through those challenges. But I still wince when I remember that encounter with Sarah. At 23, Sarah has no recollection of this incident, but I still asked her forgiveness the other night. I know now she wasn’t being disobedient or rebellious. I simply expected something from her she was unable to give. I’m grateful for not only her forgiveness, but also my ability to grow and change as a mother.

Dear Lord, be with me in all my “nexts.” From one day to the next, show me how to love large and loosely, and please never let go of my hand. Amen.  

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