Luke is twelve years old. We have the same t-shirt and shoe size. I’m not sure why that amazes me so much…but it does. He would be taller than my grandma if she were still alive. What I would give to hear her voice saying she can’t believe he’s taller than her. She always made a big deal out of when her grandkids outgrew her. It always made me chuckle because she wasn’t very tall. But still, it was a rite of passage in my family. You felt like you were getting older once you were taller than her. So that is how I measure Luke’s age. He’s old enough to be taller than my grandma and it blows my mind.
Wednesday night at a bible study I was reminded how struggles can bring sanctification. Through Luke’s twelve years of life I can see how God worked and is still working through his struggles for the good. Looking back through my own life as well, I see how the ups and the downs were preparing me to become the person I am today. It took me a long stinking time to see that. I can now confidently say I wouldn’t want to take away any of it. One day when Luke is older I pray he will see how all the things, good and bad, were preparing him as well.
In his twelve years he has had some downs. A diagnosis of Ocular Albinism at six months old being one of them. It is probably safe to say it is the biggest down of his life thus far. Not that he knew that at six months.
I remember the day Luke was diagnosed with Ocular Albinism his opthamologist also told us to prepare him for a life without driving. I’m telling you, those words instantly shifted my life, my thinking, my vision of his future, and my idea of how parenthood would be. I didn’t have a choice. I became the parent he needed.
Sure enough he was the son I needed too. Being his parent has strengthened me. It’s strengthened my faith in God and humanity. I know I’m his mom, but he truly is an amazing person. I mean, he does have moments that drive me bonkers. He’s a twelve year old boy afterall. I’ll stick with the good stuff today though. Watching the way he lives his life has shown me what perserverance truly is all about. It’s shown me the power of God. It’s certainly shown me more than I’ll ever realize this side of heaven.
Our life, just like everyone else’s, just keeps shifting. Last year we were told Luke would be able to get a restrictive drivers license and possibly was on track for an unrestrictive one. Praise God. That gave us a hope we never thought possible.
Fast forward a year. Wednesday we were told his vision has improved to the point he doesn’t even qualify for services in school. He’s also even closer to being on track for an unrestrictive license. I was excited to hear it last year, but now it actually feels attainable.
So yep, my life has once again shifted. I was a mom of a child who needed accommodations in school. I had to worry about whether or not kids would pick on him for being different. I had to worry about the teacher taking the extra time needed to follow the IEP…which sadly didn’t always happen. Most of his teachers were great though. Now I’m a mom of a twelve year old boy who doesn’t need accommodations and who will most likely be driving like any other kid. I always imagined Oliver would be my first kid driving. I always imagined Oliver would have to play the role of big brother and drive Luke places. Now it seems Luke will be able to live out the role.
I keep thinking about how these shifts in our life shape us. How is this one shaping us? I don’t know. There are many shifts that don’t shift back to normal or good. This part of Luke’s story has. He still has other struggles, but that’s part of being human. It’s like, I keep waiting for it to not be real. More, I feel like I need to be careful and sensitive to those who have stories that may never shift back like ours has. I want Luke to see and feel that too. It isn’t that I want him to feel guilt for God’s blessings. I just don’t want it all to be in vain. You know?