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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Letting my child fall... for good

What parent doesn't love to simply watch his or her child at play?  How hard I will try to quietly sneak up on one of my children, as he entertains himself with a new toy or funny imaginary game.  But, the effort is too often ruined once my presence is noticed.  Sure enough the moment ends, and the child's attention moves from the game to me, the parent.  Oh, bother.

Jude allows his mother and father such a wonderful window into the private world of a child's play; the uninterrupted one- where it's just a child, his imagination, and the enjoyment.  I'll find myself quietly watching my son as he discovers his world, feels new things, tests his limits, all while, unknown to Jude, I sit in observation.  It is a blessing to watch him expand his understanding.

For the past two months, Jude has really been moving around the house; exploring all the rooms and learning the lay of the land.  He has favorite rooms he moves toward.  He knows where our piano is to strike the keys with his tiny fingers reaching high.  Incredible is a fitting word for it all.  Although he does not see his world, he loves his dance within it.

This type of exploring is so important to our son.  Where the sighted child will learn through observation the ways, reasons and risks of the world, without necessarily experiencing them, Jude must feel them, smell them, personally, to give word and meaning to them all.  Therefore he must fall today, bang his head and as nasty as it sounds, put the dirt in his mouth.

This is a difficult task as Jude's parents, as all parents take the pains of his or her child on their shoulders and shares these hurts with them.  As tough as it can be, though, to watch our son fall or knock his head, we know protecting him from the realities of his world will only temporarily shelter him.  It is our belief falling today will keep him upright tomorrow.

St. Jude: Pray for us.

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