Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grateful for rain and sunshine.


      About a week ago I was visiting with some friends and our children were running around all crazy. A little girl walked up to me and said, "Why are you little?" I looked at her and smiled and before I answered, her sweet Grandma said, "Remember what Tiffany told you last time you asked that?" I couldn't help but just giggle at her tender spirit and those big eyes staring back at me. I replied, "I'm little because Heavenly Father made me that way! Just the way he made you. We're all different aren't we?"
     She smiled and said, "yes" and then she was off doing something else. I went home smiling thinking about her and I was so proud that she had the courage to ask such an intriguing question and even more proud that she was satisfied with the answer. Over the years people (old and young) have always asked me why I'm little. I used to say stuff about mutated genes, or "my dad was over 40" or "I was just the leftovers in my super tall family!" But then one day, my nephew asked my brother why I was so much smaller than him and he said, "Because that's the way Heavenly Father made her!"
     "That's it!" I thought. That's my answer and it's 100% the truth.
     Several weeks ago my sweet Sawyer came home from school and said, "I don't like it when people call me little!" I thought to myself, "Ok...don't screw this up! This is your mommy moment!" 
     I asked him, "What do you tell them?"
     He said, "I don't say anything. I just don't answer."
     I explained to him that maybe he could just say, "That's the way Heavenly Father made me."
     He said what he always says, "That's a good idea."
     He hasn't brought it up since, but he does walk up to the table, hold his chin up high and say, "Look mom!"
     I just reply, "OH my! Look how tall you are Sawyer!" He just walks away with a big grin on his face.
     I remember as a child these same struggles. I remember not liking school because every. single. day. people had the same short jokes and they would say them and laugh just like they did the day before. And I would smile and walk away or I'd say something super sarcastic that probably wasn't very Christ-like. While I am a confident person, I too, like everyone else in the world am scarred from things like this and I know this will happen with my children as well, but I am going to prevent them from it as much as I can.
     When Sawyer was born and we found out that he had Achondroplasia, I became depressed and suffered for a long time with an extreme amount of guilt for passing this on to my child. Which would probably explain the age gap between him and Remi. But while I was raising Sawyer, something truly miraculous happened, something that made my testimony grow immensely. For the first time, I was able to truly see my sweet babies the way our Heavenly Father sees me, and this allowed me to love myself and forgive myself for passing on this genetic disorder to all three of my children. Yep, I said all THREE.
     Ruger is 8 years old and the same height as me, so no he doesn't have Achondroplasia. But he is hearing impaired (which we found out at the same time as Sawyer's diagnosis) and this hearing loss stems from me having Achondroplasia. Crazy right? You'd never ever think that, but I guess it's somewhat common in children with little mommies and daddies. This also put me in full swing post-partum. Thankfully I was able to overcome this somewhat quickly.
     As my boys grew, I fell in love so deeply with both of them. They have these sweet sweet personalities. They welcome everyone with open arms, they are well behaved and they have so much fun. There was one week where my husband and I said, "hey maybe we should try for another baby!" and then the next week we said, "no it's still too much." This is a point in life where we can truly say that we were not in control of our destiny because shortly after we discovered that we were expecting a little girl.
     I remember being so disappointed to discover that my doctor was no longer delivering babies and that I'd have to go to another. After seeing my new doctor a couple of times and talking with him, I remember him asking me a question (and I think I've told this story before), "Do you plan to have more kids after this?" I said, "I don't know if we're up to it. You see, I tend to pass on my physical genes to my children causing them to have struggles and I just don't know if I can handle any more of that."
    He looked me in the eye and said, "Let me tell you something. I have six children. One of which is autistic, one has diabetes, and the list goes on. All of our children come with trials and I promise you that being little isn't the most difficult thing they could have to deal with!"
     His words pierced me so strongly, my heart sank and awakened all at once. The reality that all of my children were going to have a trial no matter what made me sad, but his support and reassurance that it wasn't my fault brought such warmth and love to my heart. How could this doctor be so sensitive and know exactly what to say? This was a pivotal turning point in my life. And thank goodness because it was shortly after that we discovered I was having another little baby...GIRL!         Perhaps this was just the Lord's way of wrapping up my little family with a bow or maybe not. But I do know that no matter what the world thinks of my family, I know and am completely able to love these children of mine, whole heartedly. Though it's been a hard road emotionally, it has been made very clear to me that I have three children that other's would give anything to have. Children that are tender and truly sweet, that love one another, get along, treat their mother with kindness, and bring home more of the neighborhood than I can handle with their good looks and charm. I am blessed beyond measure to be raising these truly OUTstanding children and I am blessed to be different and not blend in with the crowd...the Lord knows exactly what we need in this life to grow and I'm so grateful He gave me the trials I have, I wouldn't trade them for anything!
     President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in our latest General Conference, "How often do we wait to see the rainbow without thanking God for the rain?" Though my trials may not be like others, I am grateful they are my own and I am grateful my Heavenly Father is taking care of me and helping me through the rain. He is my light and makes every day possible...rain and all.
     I know that there are storms that lay ahead for this family, but I also know there are rainbows yet to come. So for now, I'm going to enjoy the sunshine and stay prepared for the rain, by building my relationship with my Heavenly Father and make certain that my sweet babies know how blessed I truly feel to have them in my life. They are my light and my life and the answer to so many of my prayers!

6 comments:

Betsy said...

I'm bawling. This was perfect.

Betsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly M said...

I'm in tears too!! You are amazing Tiffany!!

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Leslyn Raso said...

What a beautiful story about faith and love!

Vicki P. said...

What a truly sweet post about being little. My daughter is little. She's 32yrs old and has 6 beautiful children under age 10 and is an awesome Mom if I say so myself. She is 4' maybe 11" if she steps on tippy toes and weighs about 95lbs when not pregnant. I always felt so bad when she'd come home from school saying "I wish I wasn't so little" and now that she's a mom I have never heard her say it:) We are Mormon also and I love your answer "That's how Heavenly Father made me" AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I love your blog and your quilting. Vicki