Monday, October 7, 2013

Josiah's Alone

It was a two-word text.  And I was driving so I could not read it until I found a red light.

If it wasn't for the rain, I would have been sitting on metal bleachers, screaming and whistling for my freshman on the field.  But, though most of the day was clear, the skies filled in and flooded over just in time to cancel my second born's game.

As soon as the game was called, my daughter and I ran through the deluge with hopes of watching Josiah play in a nearby town.  I could have made a lot of choices that day but knowing that I need to pay attention to my girl, especially when we are out and about alone, I stopped at a nearby Starbucks to splurge on a tasty treat.  We were not there long.  But long enough.

As we drove, I called my husband to find out if that game, like Benjamin's, would be canceled.  Only 8 miles from where we were, it was sunny.  The game was on and we were late.  Because Mark is also Josiah's coach, I relaxed a bit knowing he has dad nearby and invested my energy in the girly chit-chat that filled our family van.

Then my phone made a noise.

Then the light turned red.

Then I read the text.

"Josiah scored!"

Instantly my eyes welled with tears. Because this moment has been coming for so long.  Because I know that I was never promised a child who could do what this child just did and the reality of that washed over me in brand new ways.

I cried because, when this child was still inside, the doctor had to look at us and express his concerns.  And we had to hear words like "connective tissue" and "markers for Down's Syndrome".   And tears came quickly because when the time came for this child to be born, he took so long and was born so blue, and he took a long time to cry.  And while this child was not born with Down's Syndrome, he was born with an arm that did not work and muscles that were low-tone, but with a demeanor that made so many smile.  This child, for all his struggles as a tiny boy, was easy and happy and smart and faithful.  This child, found a path that we did not know existed... different from his brothers' and fully his own.  This peaceful child learned to sing before he could speak and to listen to what is said and also what is not.  And while he was a blessing all his own, we did not know what the future would hold, if he would be able to play soccer, much less score.

And now, over a decade after his difficult birth, with two miraculous arms that work and play piano, dulcimer and cello, this sweet boy took the field and for the first time ever, scored with a beautiful shot high in the far corner of the net.  He did it.  He did it.

And I missed it.

It breaks my heart that I could not see it happen the way it did.  But, in our family, the boys always score at the games I miss.  So in a strange twist of events, it was perfectly played because when the time came for Josiah to kick that ball, he did it in his own way but also in the way his brothers have always done.

And while I wish had been there to see it play out, here is what I did not miss.

Having made it in time to watch over half of his game, I was there when the final whistle blew.  I was there when Josiah walked off the field with a spring in his step and a smile on his face, looking just a bit taller than before.  I was there when he giggled about scoring when I was not there and compared himself to his two big brothers.  I was there when he ran to me joyfully and wrapped his arms, two good arms, around my waist and leaned his head in for a kiss.   I was there when he talked throughout the whole ride home, telling and retelling, the wonder of his tale.  All of that I have. To store up and remember and hold on to forever.  A little glimpse at what a miracle looks like lived in ordinary ways.

The goal itself?  I missed that part.  But it is not mine to have.

That moment, that glory, that powerful kick, that is Josiah's alone.

Blessings on your day.

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