UPDATED: Thoughts on Hope (and a giveaway)

Mar 14 2013

I’m headed out to my kid’s Individualized Education Plan meeting today. Or maybe the “I” in I.E.P. stands for something else…. Independent? Industrial-strength? In-which-we-all-work-hard-but-also-say-lots-of-Hail-Marys? I can’t ever quite remember the right term, even though we’ve been in the special education game for years now, and for today I’m not going to look it up and check my work. I’m just going to write to you, friend to friend, and tell you I’m quite tired. In all the ways. And just a little bit fragile as I prepare to put on hope and optimism and heave ho! and full speed ahead!

Look, I’m not gonna lie. Navigating the world of kids with special powers is hard. Slow. Grueling. Grief-laden. Exhausting. Constant. I find myself often in the dark wondering what’s next for my son. I want a crystal ball to see the future, but only if the future is bright, and sometimes I’m secretly afraid I haven’t been given a crystal ball because the future is not to be trusted. It’s a strange place, this in-between that is the present. I’m never sure whether we’re about to experience stunning success or fall off a cliff, and sometimes it gets to me.

Sometimes it gets to me, but not always.

Hope is like that, isn’t it? Not the constant flood of light I’d like it to be. More like pinpricks in the dark. Flickering stars in the night sky. One foot in front of the other. And then another foot. And another. Which leads me now and then to another ragamuffin survivor on the path who will walk with me for a while. Even if we’re headed for the cliff. Wheeee!

For today, this is enough. And we ragamuffin survivors are worthy of celebration.

So I’ll go put on hope. And button up my optimism. And ready my heave ho! And find my pants. I’ve got a kid who needs me. Full speed ahead.


Also, a giveaway today!

My friend, Courtney, makes stuff. She asked a while ago if I want to give some of it to you. In case you need a little pick-me-up. A little reminder of love. A little good thing. I said, Absolutely! And I thought now… now when I’m writing about fragility and hope… is the perfect time.

Handmade Peppermint Trio
by The Charis Babe

Peppermint Trio Gift Set

Trio includes: peppermint lip balm, peppermint lotion, and peppermint sugar scrub.

We get to give away five (5) sets!

And the winners are:

  1. Brooke Bradley: “I’m doing well. My youngest of 5 (and my very last baby) just learned to walk. I guess I should be happy. She’s my baby though. WWWWHHHHAAAAAAA……
  2. Christine N.: “I had a sucky day on top of a sucky week. The baby screamed for an hour this afternoon after he had his shots this morning, none of my big kids did their chores and they only did about half their school, and it was the second (or third or maybe more) day in a row that I yelled at them. I’ve been on those adoptive blogs where someone is asking for sympathy about their current kids and mentions adding more via another adoption and someone always says they should wait, so my mom guilt adds up and up because we’re going to be 5 very soon, and I feel strongly about not waiting (we’re bringing home a sibling of the foster baby we have). Peppermint anything sounds awesome.
  3. Barb: “Oh how our hearts can ache for our children – no matter how old. My twin daughters are just entering the world that is motherhood. Grace joined us a month ago and her sweet mama is just plain tired! Brody is due in 2 months and his soon-to-be mama has so many questions. If only I could provide the rest for one and the answers for the other. The best I can do is bring them and theirs to the feet of God. Offering prayers for them and for all of you. It is quite a journey… exhausting and invigorating, thrilling and tedious, satisyfing and exasperating… all at the same time. What an honor for all of us!
  4. Lauren: “I’m tired today. Really really tired. I went to your blog because I knew you’d cheer me up a bit, and I am never disappointed. Thank you! Your honesty and sweet spirit give me a little hope when I need it.
  5. Amy: “Pick me! Pick me! I enjoy reading about IEP’s from your perspective. I’m always on the other side of the table. I love the “special powers” lingo you use too!

Winners: Please send your mailing address to me at FiveKidsIsALotOfKids at gmail dot com. I’ll notify you by e-mail eventually, too, but I’m the helper in my boys’ kindergarten class today, and, well, I’m outta time. 🙂 Story of my life. Story of every mama’s life. We sure do mean well, don’t we? Yes. Yes, we do.

This giveaway is now closed.

To Enter This Giveaway:

Leave a comment on this blog post (say hi or tell us how you’re doing today) by 8:00am (Pacific Time) on Saturday, March 16th. One entry per person, please. Winners will be selected using a random number generator and posted on Saturday.

This giveaway is open to international participants, although I just got back the book I tried to mail to Thailand (ROBIN, IT WILL COME SOMEDAY, I SWEAR!), so, you know, I’m not exactly running a timely ship here.

Disclaimer: Neither Courtney nor The Charis Babe is affiliated with this blog. I get no kick-backs or blah blah blah for doing this. Courtney offered to pay for shipping, but I’m not going to let her… that just seems fair. Her products, my shipping expense. Win/win. Right? Right. You can like the Charis Babe on Facebook.