A Conversation At Lowe’s

We are insane and have begun the arduous process of painting our kitchen cabinets white. My MIL and I did it before in our Norman home. 3 coats of Behr Pillar White. Now we have twice as many cabinets with beautiful crown molding trim, less time and two kids. “It’s gonna be awesome,” we keep telling ourselves.

Top cabinets off; sanded and ready for primer...

Top cabinets off; sanded and ready for primer…

Any trip to the store these days begins with negotiations between Finn and I. He wants to use his wheelchair; I would rather him be contained in the cart. We both want control. So we agreed, per usual, that he could use his wheelchair if he stayed close and obeyed “quickly and happily.”

While we waited for two gallons of Valspar Dove White, a kind older couple noticed Finn. They asked if he could walk. (“Yes, he can. We just play ‘wheelchair’ sometimes for fun.” –sarcastic inner monologue.) “No, he was born with Spina Bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down, so he uses a wheelchair to get around.” They told me about some family member they have who also has a disability and then reassured me that with technology these days, surely he’ll be walking soon. I smiled and mumbled something awkward like, “Yep, we’ve sure come a long way. Alright kids, let’s keep shopping.”

So we went outside to get mulch. As I was heaving a couple bags into the cart, I heard Finn say, “spine bifda…” He repeated it, trying the words out on his tongue. He’s heard us say, “Spina Bifida,” hundreds of times, but this was the first time I’ve heard him say it. I asked him if he knew what that was. “No.” I told him he was born with it and that’s the reason he has trouble walking and why he’s in a wheelchair and why we do physical therapy with Miss Brittany and…blah blah blah.

This was a conversation I’d played out dozens of times in my head, wide awake some nights worrying about how he’d respond. I was just about to tell him about how special he was and that God spent extra time creating him even though he’s different in some ways…

But he asked for another animal cracker and spun around in his chair.

I know he heard me; he’s super smart. But my rant didn’t really interest him. I laughed and took this picture.

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Not the reaction I was expecting.

Finn has been surprising us since I was 6 weeks pregnant with him: bleeding profusely on a family vacation; the ER doctor told me I was having a miscarriage. Nope; the ultrasound showed a strong blinking light (Finn’s heartbeat), as if he was in there saying, “I’m still here mom and dad! I’m fighting! Don’t give up on me!”

Through Finn God has taught me to expect the unexpected.(Good and bad.)

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“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory…” Ephesians 3:20, 21

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