I recently read an article at Key ministries by Sandra Peoples Here. In it the author relayed her thoughts about feeling embarrassed over not meeting the expectations of others. This is especially true when she navigates the holidays with her child with autism. It was just what I needed.
For me, it’s not just the holidays! I get embarrassed all year long when we arrive on “wheelchair time”.
When you have two extra bodies to dress, including orthotics and invisaligns, fix the hair (forget the make-up…unless we are running on time, then we can add that and get back to being late), help with eating, bundle up, load the van via the lift…twice, and hook the tie downs you have what we call wheelchair time. See what I did there? I felt like I had to explain and justify why we run late. Then I feel embarrassed as I hear myself explaining how it happened. One time I arrived just BEFORE a graduation ceremony was about to begin. That means everyone was dressed fancy-ish, fed, unloaded and in their places. I felt a tap on my shoulder with a whispered “glad you could join us” and a sassy grin. Maybe it was meant to tease, but it knocked the air right outta my sails. Even on time I felt late. And embarrassed.
I could plan for the extra time it takes us to go any and every where. But add in the two decades of interrupted sleep and I am rarely even motivated to move fast anyway.
I am typically behind from the beginning. And I feel the pain of it all.the.time. I hear the frustration in the tone of voice my husband uses. I note it when my kids and friends set pretend starting times to adapt for our late arrival. Sometimes people are just outright blunt and remark on the timeliness, or lack of it, at our arrival. I never know how to respond. Do I apologize, defend, educate? That man who tapped me at the graduation service got something a little different. I asked him how many legs he had shaved to Prepare for the event. Then I informed him I had shaved six legs, four of which were spastic. He said he was sorry he had asked. So was I.
It’s common to hear that people with disabilities become isolated. They just stay home.
I totally get that. It would be simpler. However, for us, our girls don’t allow for that. They insist we stay busy and participate everywhere we can. They are not homebodies. And so we don’t meet the expectations of the events as we arrive on wheelchair time. As I add another holiday activity to our calendar I cringe knowing we will be rushing around and still miss the mark. We are so imperfect. So undependable you can actually count on it! It’s embarrassing.
What a great reminded of why we needed a Savior to be born!
I am grateful for the words of Sandra Peoples who reminded me
our goal isn’t to meet everyone’s expectations. It’s to do what’s best for your child and your family. It’s to point others to the perfect Savior who will never disappoint them.
I know being late causes frustration. I’m frustrated, too. I am often at odds to do better.be better. And still find the space for grace.
One of many reasons I am grateful for God who sent His son to save us all. And, as the author says here, sometimes
done is better than perfect.
Peoples says it better in her article…take a moment to regroup before the bustle and check out her post. (I don’t know her at all, so I’m not her promoter, just thought it may help someone else like me!)