Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Antidote to Discouragement

Yesterday, after I wrote my post about discouragement, and after I spent a few minutes praying about my discouragement and trying to let it go, an interesting thing happened.

Throughout the morning, and well into the afternoon, Seth approached me every five or ten minutes and wrapped his arms around me, sometimes for a quick squeeze but more often for a lingering snuggle.  Though he is generally affectionate with and loving towards me (still a miracle!), the extent of yesterday's affections took me completely by surprise.

It wasn't out of anxiety or a sense that there was anything amiss - his affection was simply heart felt and overflowing towards me.  Twice he climbed up onto the counter beside where I was working in the kitchen and reached for me, bringing my head and lips down into that snuggly place I love at the side of his neck and holding me there with his hands stroking the back of my neck.  At lunch he had a hand on my knee or his head on my shoulder for the majority of our time at the table and he asked me if I would feed him with my fingers...just wanting to be close.  He looked lovingly into my eyes and, as I went about my day, I often found his hand in mine and he said he just wanted to follow and be with me.  And he found various ways (including with a heart shaped out of perler beads) to tell me that he loved me.

It was not the usual, run-of-the-mill kind of day.  Even Geoff commented on it, having noticed how incredibly affectionate Seth was with me over dinner and remarking on how clear it is, when Seth's with me, that he's come so far.

I needed yesterday's affections.  From that kid in particular.  It was the reminder I needed that he's doing so well.  Every gentle touch from him felt like an assurance from the Most High that things are going to be ok; felt like a reminder that, even when language or academic stuff seems impossible, we've already won so many battles together.  I have Seth's heart, just as he has mine...how I love this kid...regardless of whether or not he's able to remember how many days there are in an week.


  1. Aren't hugs just fantastic for every ill? Children's hugs have a special power. Sometimes I think about the role of hugs in learning and growing - both giving and getting. When I think of all the hugs and kisses that fly about our family in an average day (alot!), I think about all that we'd miss if the boys were in school all day. What would we do without them, eh? Your kids are gems. I know you're alternating between being concerned and feeling blessed, and that's your job as their mum. But to the rest of us, we're just seeing their awesomeness. They are truly lovely children to be around.

  2. Thanks guys...and thanks, Tammy, for the kind words about the kids!! We think the same of yours!!



  3. I wouldn't worry too much about this particular memory lapse. New educational research suggests kids' brains are not wired to understand calender time until they're around 7 years old - and that's for kids without histories of early trauma. (This is somewhat controversial as it goes against what kindergarten teachers have been teaching for decades). Younger kids can memorize calender time facts by rote but they probably won't understand them. Even I, deemed academically "gifted" as a child, have a distinct memory of being unable to answer calender time questions at the age of 7 and having a mini panic attack about it.

    1. Thanks Anonymous...that's very interesting, and reassuring. I also notice the difference between Seth (8) and Lizzie (6) in this regard. The months of the year feel very much like it's been rote for Seth and it's like he's just beginning to comprehend the concept of hours/days/years. So maybe, given his trauma history, I just need to anticipate that it's just going to take a while longer yet.

      Again, thanks!