It is so hard not to get discouraged. Reading the latest headlines alone in and of itself is enough to bring you to your knees.
On a more personal level, we have had a hard month, it actually started at the beginning of November and has spilled over into December. It is easy to get overwhelmed and to start to feel anxious, frustrated, sad, and hopeless. It is so hard for someone who has not parented a special needs child to understand how hard and unpredictable the days can be. I know it is frustrating for family and friends when we continually have to decline invitations or change our plans at the last minute, but that is our reality. I know it sounds negative when I am asked how are things and I once again have to reply, "not good, or we are having a hard day or today sucked", but unfortunately that is our reality.
It is hard for the child, it is hard for the parent, it is hard for the siblings.
Not every day. And not every moment. And for those moments or those days when it is good even awesome, we do not take those for granted, we savor the laughter, we soak it up and store it away and pull it out to treasure and help remind us that it will (eventually) get better.
But still, we battle discouragement. What do you do when you cannot honestly promise that tomorrow will be better than today? What do you do when a hug or an encouraging comment doesn't help? What do you do to convey to the heart of everyone involved that you understand, you are sorry it is what it is, that God is still good and He has a plan, and that it is ok to be where you are right now and that I am here with you - in the good, the bad, and the ugly.
As I listen, I pray silently. That God would carry us through this. I brush hair, rub backs, make mixes out of beans and flour and rice. We play in water. We dig in the mud. I google parenting fails or people falling and we watch or look at some funny things people have done. Oh and I learned the hard way to make sure you type in clean when you are googling those, because if not, some of the returns can be pretty bad. We read good stories. Getting lost in someone else's adventure is sometimes such a great gift. We go for walks. We drive. I get a hot chocolate :), they get shakes. But lately the best thing? MUSIC. Hymns, Christmas Carols, worship songs, instrumental. The piano guys. David Archuleta. Peter Hollens, Kristene Dimarco. These songs, these artists have become so integral to our days, as important as the fuzzy, furry socks we pull on our freezing toes in the mornings.