Sunday, October 5, 2008

Grass Stains

October is "Rett Syndrome Awareness Month." I've been trying to think of some great, profound post, but I guess my heart and my head are just not in it right now. Neither is my body. I have a recurring neck/shoulder/arm pain that is back this week. It hurts to be on the computer. It hurts to sleep. It hurts to lift my Sweet Girl. It isn't horrible - just constant and annoying. But enough about me.

Since I can't think of anything original to type tonight, I want to share a story I wrote a few years ago.

Grass Stains

As moms, we’ve all heard the phrase, “You’ve got to pick your battles.” Well, I am done fighting the war on grass stains. I’ve scrubbed. I’ve soaked. I’ve scrubbed some more. Still, my sons’ jeans come out of the laundry looking quite colorful. My seven year old arrives home from school not only with bright green on his knees, but all the way up and down his legs and the seat of his pants. I can’t even imagine what he does to get those stains in so many places! And if that is not enough, his four year old brother is quickly learning from his example.

I used to worry about those stubborn grass stains. What will other moms think about me if I let my boys be seen this way? Maybe I don’t care enough about their appearance. If I can’t remove those stubborn stains, what does it say about my homemaking skills? After all my scrubbing and soaking, I am still inadequate. Well, I surrender. The grass stains are just going to stay!

My grumbling has turned to gratitude. Now, as I throw those blue-turned-green jeans into the washing machine, I don’t reach for the Shout or Spray-and-Wash. Those stains are a reminder that God has blessed me with two healthy boys who can run and play. I fold the permanently stained jeans and think about the fun that was involved in getting them that way. Let others think what they will. Green is becoming my favorite color.

You see, I also have a daughter and chances are, she will never have grass stains on her knees. Not because she is a girl, but because she can’t walk. She has Rett Syndrome which affects her ability to move, among other things. I love my little girl with all my heart, but I grieve the fact that she will never join her brothers in a game of tag; that she won’t fall down in the grass and come up with green battle scars. Her little pink leggings will be forever pink.

I guess I need to get back to my laundry. Time to soak the food stains from my daughter’s shirts. Swallowing is sometimes difficult for her and food falls out of her mouth onto her clothes. On second thought, I think I’m beginning to like the pizza sauce polka dots……
Here is the most recent picture of Sweet Girl. It was taken last weekend. It is a rare occasion to get her looking at the camera and smiling (well, sort of).

If you would like to know more about Rett Syndrome you can visit these places: RettHelp, Girl Power, and IRSF. All of these sites have information about Rett Syndrome and also opportunities to donate. I really hate asking for money, especially in these difficult economic times. But I also hate that there is no cure for Rett Syndrome yet.

Also, my Usborne books eshow is still open. I am donating my commission to Rett Syndrome research. These books make wonderful gifts and the holidays are fast approaching.

Well, this has been a somewhat "scattered" post. Just the way my brain is tonight, I guess. It is past my bedtime and it hurts to type or even use the mouse. I'll be back in a few days with a more "usual" post.


Caitlyn said...

Thank you for this! It is so well put! My daughter is 5 yrs old and was diagnosed at 2 1/2 with Rett Syndrome. Your words ring so true. Thank you!

Brooklyn said...

Vanessa, this was a BEAUTIFUL post. Thank you for sharing it with us. I often long for the grass stains too :) funny how small little things bring such emotions some times isn't it?
I LOVE her lates picture too - she is such a beauty! I hope your shoulder starts to get better soon - that stinks to have to deal with something ongoing like that!
I hope you have a GREAT week!

Debbie said...

What a darling little girl. God Bless You. Change that to .. God "Blessed" You.
Debbie in Florida

Don and Dixie said...

Great post! Like your new picture also. Was good to reread your article. Give Sweet Girl a hug and kiss from us. Hope you get to feeling better.

Molly said...

So sorry that you're not feeling well. Maybe Stacey can give you a work over next week! Can't believe we'll see you in just one more week. Loved the story you wrote and how it makes everyone appreciate the "stains" in their lives. The photo of beautiful Martilee is priceless.

Michelle said...

Very touching post job, Vanessa. Its all a matter of perspective!

AshleyS said...

You have a beautiful daughter and this piece is beautifully written!