I don't think I ever prayed as much as I did the year before my oldest was born. Simple prayers, really. Father, give us a healthy child. Just a healthy child. Not much else seemed to register as important. My pleas were much the same for the kids that followed. Health, Lord, I'll bother you with little else.
Well, my heart's been broken, and if you have a child with a health condition you know the sting. There is a bubble around your child that so few seem willing to push through. It doesn't matter that your kid is beautiful or kind or loving, others see the struggle and don't know what to say, how to say it.
So they say nothing. And you watch with sadness, and not a little guilt, as this precious person walks quite alone on the earth.
I want to scream, "See my kid … I know there are things you don't understand, but don't walk away, or around; don't turn you heart, or your back. My kid won't push like your other friends. My kid will stand, never too far off, waiting, waving, hoping that you'll say hello. Hoping for a bit of your smile …"
But I don't, scream that is. Instead I watch, from inside my own bubble, and tell myself friends will one day come. Yet, my child doesn't seem concerned. My child trusts and hopes and trusts some more, with a smile that lights up the room. Friends will come. Someone will see me. God won't leave me alone.
I prayed for my child's health. I didn't get it. I got a kid who finds joy in the middle of the pain.
Maybe I got what I prayed for after all.