When Nathan was three, my husband went into his room to pick him up out of his crib and get him ready for the day. When he opened the door, he found books and toys scattered every which way. There was Nathan was sitting contently, in the middle of the mess, playing with his toys.
That was the last night Nathan slept in his crib.
He couldn’t walk–he still can’t walk–but he figured out a way to escape his crib. We have since found the most incredible bed for Nathan. It is called The Safety Sleeper. It’s basically a zip up tent designed to be perfectly safe for kids who would otherwise be getting into trouble while mom and dad sleep.
Nathan loves the Safety Sleeper. He crawls right up into a corner with his favorite stuffed animal every night and giggles because he’s so cozy inside.
I have grown to love the Safety Sleeper too. At first, I had no idea how Nathan could have a cute bedroom without a typical bed. It seems silly to say, but the things that I need to grieve and get on with, are sometimes simple. When Mac turned three we gave him a firetruck themed room as a birthday gift. It was super fun. I received decorations from a friend and added my own finds. It turned out so super cute. But it wasn’t something Nathan could inherit.
Neither could Nathan become Mac’s bunkmate. When Mac was little he talked a lot about sharing a room with Nathan. I wonder what kind of relationship they would have had, if it would have been typical. Wondering what could have been, doesn’t get you very far if you want to stay in the present moment though.
Letting Go of What Would Have Been, And Embrace Beauty Before You
I’m learning to embrace what is with as much fullness as I can, trusting God will take the brokenness and the sadness and turn it into something beautiful. That is what He has done over and over again in our lives. I would much rather have God’s beauty and plan to my own. Even if I could muster up something pretty, with God life has a deeper meaning. A deeper internal work has to happen in me to give something to Him and let Him remake it, and then for me to accept it and say, “Lord, I trust you. This is a gift and I will freely accept it.”
We found a way to give Nathan a cute bedroom thanks to Target. They had a camping and critter’s theme for kids and we had a lot of fun decorating Nathan’s room. It looks way less like a nursery and now like a little boy’s room.
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!