The title may have you thinking one thing, but I am pretty sure you are not thinking what I am. Ten years ago when I was in foster care training, I was taught how children of trauma have many “gaps” in their thinking, education, social skills, etc. Which basically means that development can be very sporadic and confusing because, although there may be great advancement in one area, other areas may be virtually non-existent. And this was something that we were to keep in mind as we patiently work with our child. In other words, encountering large gaps in learning is typical.
So, in the past 10 years, I have watched and sometimes worked very patiently (and more times than not, very impatiently) as we train Matthew. Today I kept him home from school because of a bad cough – sick but not sick enough to send him off to bed. So, I patiently labored through schoolwork, physical therapy exercises, and even a little recess. After 3 ½ hours his batteries still had a charge, but I was exhausted – mostly because he cannot stop talking through everything and most of the chatter is repetitive exciting chatter of upcoming Christmas events, halted only briefly by episodes of coughing.
I desperately needed a break. So, I plopped Kari beside the piano and asked Matthew to sit down and play her a song. Thinking that his just banging some keys here and there would at least give me a respite from chatter and allow me to make some lunch. What happened over the next 20 minutes was nothing short of a miracle. He sat at that piano and almost perfectly (with the left hand, the only one that works) played the four songs he will be singing on Sunday in the children’s choir. He never did that before. It was totally amazing! Within the realm of music, this kid runs circles around me. He wanted me to sing while he played. Mind you, I have been with him at every practice and still don’t know the words, nor even the tune for sure. That would be a “gap” for me but a mountain top for him!
Then there is the girl sitting beside him listening. She may not be a child of trauma, but she has been affected by this world of sin just the same. Last night I read a quote from Joni Tada, “Contentment is that quietness of heart growing out of supernatural grace that gladly submits to God in all circumstances—but you must go through a strenuous learning process” and I would add, “…because we got lots of ‘gaps.’” Kari has mastered contentment. I know of no one who is more content than she.
As I take a few moments to sit between my two amazing children, realizing how far above me on mountain tops they are, I feel very small in my valley and I am grateful to God to show me this joy on this wearying day, knowing I too have major gaps and major learning before me.