i hate being wrong…

I hate being wrong. And the other weekend I was so wrong.

After a very long, emotional and difficult couple of weeks, I needed a slow, quiet weekend with nothing to do but rest. Saturday, I fought not to do the chores that have piled up around the house like the dirty laundry has done. Instead, I tried to read, watch TV and nap, all in an effort to recharge my emotional and physical batteries. Unfortunately, I was only partially successful. So, when I woke up Sunday morning, all I wanted was to stay home and “circle the wagons.” But one thing stood in the way of my perfect day…a trip to the zoo. Yup, a trip to the zoo with the family to participate our the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association’s Family Day. Back when I signed us up, it sounded so good. A chance to spend the day with other families with kids with Down Syndrome. We could ask questions and meet others who have been on this journey longer than we have. It all sounded really good, but that morning, it sounded like one of the last things I wanted to do. And soon the doubts and excuses started flooding in my head….

“It is going to be too hot and that might be too hard on Timothy.”

“‘Our family’ needs time at home, not outside in a hot, smelly zoo.”

“We will connect with other DS families next time, but today it is “best” for us to stay home.”

It all started to fit into place until my older kids got up and were bouncing around the house in excitement about going to the zoo. Quickly I realized I was locked into going to the zoo and accepted my fate. But as we started to get the family ready to go, it felt like the classic Sunday morning getting ready for church. Every little thing seemed to go against us and soon Treshia & I were fighting with each other and the kids. And quickly the doubts raised their heads again, showing me how much easier it would be to stay home and skip the zoo. But to my wife’s credit, she pushed us through and got all six of us in the van. When we got there, the proof of our foolish decision seemed to continue to mount, from my baby boy’s poopy diaper that forced my wife back to the van, to the heat in the high 90′s to the fact that our zoo is on the side of a mountain and requires hiking around (all while pushing two strollers and wrangling a excited 10- and 7-year olds). And if I am honest, soon the only thing that seemed to keep us going was the free lunch that awaited us halfway through the zoo. We tried to keep our enthusiasm up for the kids, but even they started to wane and struggle. But soon we were at the place where the lunch was being served and we went inside.

i hate being wrong

Inside it was cool, relaxed and the people there from the CSDSA were all happy and very inviting. Soon, we were seated at a table and happily ate a very good lunch. And that’s when I was proven so wrong. As we sat there, other DS families began to get their food and sit down at the tables around ours. We began to notice beautiful little girls and boys with Down Syndrome and all were happy and amazing. We saw families that were not haunted by DS, but instead were full of joy and laughter on this very special day. And soon some of those same families, who we did not know at all, were coming over to our table to meet our precious Timothy. And instead of the usual “I am so sorry” response we get over his DS, they smiled and showed joy over it. They shared stories of how difficult parts of their journeys have been, but how filled with joy they have been as well. And they showed true interest in our family and how WE were doing, not just our beautiful baby boy. And that’s when it hit me….this is a community. A community of encouragement and love that I am now a part of, and I almost missed out on it because I was tired. All of the struggles, the difficulties, the fighting and frustration all seemed to be irrelevant in comparison to this amazing group around us. Families from all social standings and groupings, coming together to share the joy of their precious children and to celebrate the lives of their children.

How many times do I miss beauty and richness of life around me, all because I am so focused on my own frustrations and selfishness? How many times have I allowed my focus to turn inward and cause my family to miss opportunities of blessing and community? Yes, I am still physically exhausted, but rest and quiet was the last thing I needed on Sunday. And I am so glad I was wrong.

(This post was originally posted on the Dad Matters blog page)

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~ by kuiperactive on July 15, 2014.

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