Thursday, September 12, 2019

Navigating Grief in Motherhood: a Story of Lost Twin Girls

I’d like to tell you about two little girls; their names are Zoe and Madeline.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of touching, heartwarming stories about them to share with you.  They are from Eastern Europe, three years old and are identical twins.  Madeline, the one who was born first, is blind and last I knew, was still not yet walking or speaking.  Zoe is sighted and, aside from the malnutrition that is common in orphanage life, we were told she was in fairly good health.  This is the extent of what I know about these girls.  When I was given those sparse bits of information, I was delighted.  You see, they were supposed to be my daughters.
This is a story about twin girls and the family that lost them.  There are sadly so many ways to lose a child, and all of them are beyond painful, unfair, and alter your life forever.  I want to tell you about a way of losing a child that is not as well known or talked about or acknowledged.  I do not do this to in any way lessen or minimize the grief of those who have had to bear the weight of losing a child by more common tragedies.  I am simply writing this to share my story, and I hope it can be a comfort to others grieving their lost children.  I think it’s safe to say that, no matter how we experience such a crippling loss, we need to draw strength from each other and not be afraid to truly, rightly and fully grieve.  We need to do this in our own way and in our own time, with no concern about the limits or prescribed ways that our society tells us we are supposed to or allowed to mourn.
Who were these little girls exactly?  They were the girls we were told and assured that we could adopt.  They were the girls of whom we were sent videos and pictures.  They were the sisters of my daughter and son.  They were the twins who were going to make my life as a blind mother even crazier; I imagined them constantly making me guess who was who and having fun at my expense.  They were the girls that were going to share a room with their sister and forge a bond (at least I hoped they would) through that shared space.  Perhaps they would have taken up gymnastics like her or found some other hobby in which they would have delighted.  They were the girls who would probably have driven their brother crazy, while also encouraging him at his piano.  They were the girls who would enrich our family and teach me how to grow as a mother.   They were the girls who would get to experience the joy of meeting grandma and tasting her food for the first time.  They were the girls who were supposed to visit the ocean in Florida, where I and my husband both grew up.  They were the girls that I was going to teach, together with their sister, how to make bread and gumbo.  Now, they are some other family’s girls, and I never saw that coming.
If adoption is talked about at all, it is often from either one of two perspectives.  First, it is viewed from the lens of the birth mother; her decision to place the child for adoption and all the accompanying weight and emotions of that difficult choice.  Second is the more joyous perspective of the adoptive parent, finding purpose and learning from the struggle of becoming a family once the adoption is complete.  Both these perspectives are valid, good and right, and they should be talked about!  In fact, adoption and the need for it is a topic that should be more openly and seriously considered and discussed by our society as a whole.  However, in my family’s case and with other adoptive families as well, there is the perspective of loss.  It is the reality that we had committed ourselves, heart and soul, to two little girls and were determined, whatever the difficulty, to bring them into our family.  Their faces and the thought of them languishing in an overseas orphanage were what motivated us through all the paperwork and tedious tasks that accompany an international adoption.  It is the perspective of being suddenly told, by a foreign government who has never met you, that those girls are no longer yours.  It is the reality of being given no reason for this sudden change of mind, as well as having no appeal or recourse.
Some might venture to suggest that the loss cannot be that great because, after all, you never actually met them in person.  Sadly, this might also be said to the woman who lost her child through a miscarriage or stillbirth and in neither case is that true!  We did know those children!  They were a part of us, and we were committed to their life and well-being.  They were already woven into the fabric of our family.  They were ours! We had hopes and dreams for them, and when we lost them, it was and still is a significant and shattering blow!  Please, don’t let anyone minimize or trivialize your grief regarding this!
So now what do we do? Where do we go from this very real sadness?  The way I see it, there are two things we should strive to do.  We should remember our lost children, but not in a fleeting or trivial manner.  We should accept the fact that we will so often think of them and be reminded of them and miss them.  Their memories deserved to be honored and treasured.  Secondly, it seems that we should, even while remembering them, not become trapped in those memories.  We need to move forward in our lives, striving to live a life that reflects who we are and our love for all the family still with us.
Grief is a normal and right response to the pain in our lives, to the unfairness of it. It is a natural, although by no means desired, part of life, but it is not the end or the only thing left to us.  There can be grief and joy, hope and regret.  There can still be life; I think that is the most important thing we can remember!

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Children I Don't Know but Can't Forget

I have been putting off writing this for a while. It is hard and like most people, I'm not a fan of doing hard things. However, there is a saying at our house, which I find myself repeating so often to my kids, "If something's hard, that's not a reason not to do it, it's a reason to do it." They will usually sullenly say the last part back to me, like I'm sure I did to my mom and dad with their sayings. But this is something I need to remind myself of just as often.

I figured by this point in the year we would already know what child or children we would be adopting! I wouldn't have thought we would still be waiting on a referral! This isn't where I wanted to be and from my human perspective, it doesn't seem fair or make any sense. This adoption has not gone at all like we planned or thought it should.

This post is about all the kids we tried to pursue but couldn't, for one reason or another. I never imagined this list would be so long. But you see, I'm writing this because I don't want these kids to be forgotten. My insightful sister had an especially helpful and wise perspective. She said that perhaps Luke and I became aware of these kids so we would be able to specifically pray for them. I think she's right and if you continue reading you will now know them and I hope you will pray for them as well. Read on to learn about Betty, Chloe, Zoe and Madeline, Maggie, Dotty and Hugh. These are real kids with real stories and lives, even if what I can tell you is very little. Adoption matters. These kids matter.

When we saw Betty's profile, she was three years old and had spina bifida. There was a short video of her. She wasn't talking yet. That's really all we knew. We were strongly considering pursuing her, even though we knew hardly anything about her medical condition. But then, we stumbled upon another profile, which caused us to move in a different direction.

Chloe was six and living in Asia. She was totally blind, due to literally not having eyes. We felt strongly about her and were scared for her in Asia as a blind girl. There was much doubt if her country would even work with us, due to my blindness. While we waited to find out, we found a video of her, posted on the website of the christian residential home where she was staying. I still remember the sound of her voice! I had so desperately needed that reassurance, as we had been given old information, and there was doubt as to if she could speak. I was afraid, wondering if I could safely raise a nonverbal child without sight. But God let me hear her speak! And then, the day after we heard that her country's government would work with us, we were told that her profile was no longer available and that it had most likely been given to another family, from another agency, who was further along in the process. Even though we were told of this risk up front, it still hurt. I think about her often.

So then, we decided to go back through the country where Lexy and Jon are from. We contacted the agency through which we adopted Lexy. We were familiar with the requirements and the staff and felt fairly comfortable. We started working toward adopting twin girls, Zoe and Madeline. Things seemed pretty set. We talked to the kids and Lexy began making plans as to who would have what bed. Then, the week after we had organized a garage sale to help bring them home, we were told that we had not been approved for them by the country's government. I have written much about that experience and the grief it brought and still brings. They were three when we started the process. Zoe is sighted and healthy, all things considered for living in overseas orphanages. Madeline is blind and was not speaking, last we knew. I miss them terribly.

Maggie was six when we saw her profile and were considering applying to try and adopt her. She had had a brain tumor, was not speaking and had frequent seizures. After a lot of internal struggling, I determined that I would not feel safe, as a blind person being the main caretaker, dealing with seizures. I pray someone has or will soon adopt this little girl. I resented my blindness, which I haven't done in quite a while, because I felt it prevented me from caring for her and being the mom she needs.

Dotty is three and has hydrocephalus, but to what severity we don't know. There is a high link between hydrocephalus, hearing loss and seizures. Again, as a blind person, I didn't think i could safely care for her if she had either of these, let alone both. It hurt and I grieved to say no to pursuing her further. I don't think I acted wrongly in my decision, but it still hurts and I still think of and worry over her.

Hugh is a one year old boy with a heart condition. We applied to adopt him but still have heard nothing back. It has been a long while since our application and I strongly believe that he will be another name on my list of kids whom I haven't forgotten but will never know. I never thought I'd even have such a list to begin with.

Please join me in remembering these kids and their names and what little details we o of their lives. They matter. Their stories matter. Pray for them. Pray that they are safe where they are, that they are being fed enough, that they are not being neglected medically and that they will be adopted by loving families. Adoption matters.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sometimes I Envy Sighted Parents

I have been blind all my life. This never really bothered me until I had kids. Motherhood has caused me to realize that vision is a pretty amazing gift and there are many days that it sure would be nice to have. Now, let me clarify, I’m not wanting pity here and I’m not resentful of all the sighted parents of the world, that would be rather absurd. I would just like to give some situations in which, I think, sighted parents should be especially thankful for their vision.
  1. 1. Simple Activities Aren’t Off Limits to You

My kids love to ride their bikes and swim in our apartment complex pool. Both of these are typical childish activities, that I remember enjoying as a kid. Vision is sure a handy thing to have though for monitoring of such play. I can’t safely navigate them around parked vehicles, not to mention avoid moving vehicles while they ride around in circles. As for the pool, given that both my kids are still learning to swim, I do not feel safe bringing them both to the pool at the same time. I’ve found a way to work around the pool issue , going with each child individually on separate days, but I wish they could have the fun of getting to play with each other in the water. As for the bike riding, my sighted husband does it whenever he can, but I still sometimes wish I could just take them out during any given day by myself and enjoy that special time with them. I feel like I am missing out on a fun part of their childhood.
  1. 2. Matching Socks

  1. Oh my goodness, I don’t have the words to articulate my frustration with socks. I can understand I begrudgingly suppose, in theory, the desire of relatives to buy my children colored socks that match perfectly with every outfit that they own. But they all feel exactly the same and they usually just end up in one huge, in discriminant, messy pile in their dresser. More often than not, they wear mismatching socks and I find that I just don’t care. Even though, as both of my children are also blind, they do not have any perception of color whatsoever, it matters a lot to them what color socks they are wearing. This too, drives me crazy. No matter how many times I explain to them that I am, like them, blind and cannot see colors, they will still incessantly ask me the color of well pretty much everything! If I had the money, I would love to hire a housekeeper (wouldn’t we all), but I’d also add an exclusive position for sock matching and color identifier for my children!
  1. 3. Cleaning up Crap

  1. In case anyone is wondering, I mean literal crap here. Yes, I know, this is one that is on everyone’s list. But seriously, I hate doing this as a blind person. Anyone want to guess why? Every time I’m cleaning up their rear, I’m wondering if I got it all. I’m also wondering how far I want to go to ensure that I’ve gotten it all. As you’ve probably figured out, without sight, there’s really only two other senses to make use of here. If I am by myself, I will get it done, but that’s like addding insult to injury. The worst is if they are having stomach issues and don’t make it to the toilet. Yeah, trying to gauge where that fecal matter landed without sight, and without stepping in it, is well one of the crummiest tasks ever!
  1. 4. Finding that all important, Tiny Lost Toy

  1. Oh, you know the one I’m talking about, that toy that your child has to have right now. You know, it’s the one they haven’t played with in weeks but suddenly randomly remembered while eating breakfast and now it’s the only thing they can think or talk about. So I ask where they last had it, because I know I’ll get a reliable and helpful answer. Now, with vision, I could just casually look around the room and tell within a few moments if that item is, in fact, in the large living room as my child emphatically insists. Instead, I get to waste time by walking the entire length and width of the whole, stupid room. Even if I do this, I will still most likely miss it. And that’s assuming that it is in fact in the living room and not on the porch, in the bathroom or at grandma’s house in Florida. And, if by an act of God, I do manage to find it, said child will play with it for a full sixty seconds, if I’m lucky, before discarding it and going on to lose something else.
  2. All I can say is be thankful for your vision. It makes your parenting job, while still hard and crazy, just a little bit easier.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

One Statement that Shouldn't be Said to a Grieving Mother

This is not an easy thing to write about, but I feel it needs to be done, despite my discomfort.  I hope that this can be seen as a polite, yet vitally necessary, public service announcement.  I’d like to tell you the one thing that you shouldn’t ever say to a parent who has lost a child, through either miscarriage, stillbirth, or failed adoption.
Now, I know that seeing a person grieving, whatever the cause, is hard.  You want to be of some comfort.  So I understand the good intentions that are there, I really do.  I also understand that, often, there aren’t concrete actions we can do for a person in such circumstances, so all that is left to us are words.  We want these words to be comforting, healing and encouraging.  That said, there is one phrase that is none of those things.  I have heard it myself a time or two.  It is the phrase “you didn’t know the child well or very long” and variations on such wording.
I know that being hurtful is not your impulse and when so many say this phrase, there is no malice intended.  However, that doesn’t detract from the negative emotions this statement, and the sentiment behind it, bring.  I feel I can best explain why this is the case from my own life.
You see, last year, our family thought we were going to adopt twin girls.  We were sent videos and pictures of them.  We were committed to them.  We loved them.  They were already our daughters and the sisters of our two children.  It didn’t matter that we had never seen them in person.  It didn’t matter that we had never held them before.  It didn’t matter that we had only known of their existence for a few months.  They were our girls.
So when we were told, abruptly and unexpectedly, that the government in their country had decided another family was better suited and that furthermore, we could not appeal this decision, we were devastated.  Our children had been taken from us and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it!  When someone says, in effect, the sadness can’t really be that bad because you didn’t really know them or you didn’t physically hold them, etc., it frankly hurts and feels rather demeaning.  I essentially now am put in a position where I have to justify my grief to you.  It doesn’t matter how long or short our time was with them or by what methods we interacted or how much or little we knew about them.  None of those factors influenced our love for them or how much we grieved, and honestly are still grieving, for them.
Let’s put this in a different perspective for a moment here.  You wouldn’t say such a statement to a parent who, let’s say, tragically lost their two-year-old to cancer.  You wouldn’t, not even for a second, think that just because the child was only two, instead of 12, therefore, they shouldn’t be that sad.  You wouldn’t let the length of time they had known and loved their child be a factor in assessing their grief, so why does this happen in the above mentioned situations?
As true as this is for myself, as an adoptive mother, I feel it is compounded many times over for those who have lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth.  I beg you, do not express such words around them, no matter how kindly you mean them.  For these women, there is no possible way they could have known their child more!  They carried them; their bodies nurtured and sustained that child!  They literally felt that child growing inside them!  There is no connection that is as personal and nothing more painful and poignant when it is severed!  If you are reading this and you have experienced this loss, please don’t let anyone minimize or trivialize your grief!
The loss of a child, no matter how it happens, is probably one of the most horrible events we can endure.  Let’s be mindful of the impact of our words.  Let’s be there for each other and help each other grieve fully and well.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

If You Never Feel Like Your Life is Together

My kids and I were riding in my friend’s car.  The two of us were chatting when my 5-year-old daughter, from the backseat, casually asked my friend “are you a grown up?”  My friend, who is about 15 years younger than I, paused for a moment and then said thoughtfully, “yes, but most days I don’t feel like I have things together.”  I chuckled and agreed with her; then my daughter piped up again from the backseat and in a confident tone said, “I’m together.”
When it happened, this cute exchange just made me smile, and I quickly moved on with my busy life.  However, as I took more time to consider, this short and simple conversation caused me to think about that little word which seems to relentlessly pursue us as moms: “together.”  We need to have our stuff together.  We need to be together as a wife, mom, employee and as a person in general.  We usually don’t feel together at all.  When we don’t feel together, we get frustrated with ourselves and this frustration often spills over and impacts the ones we care the most about.  How is it we can let one little word overtake us and cause us to chase such a vague concept?  What on earth does it mean to be “together” anyway?
It sure seems to me that when we use that word, we are basically trying to achieve some elusive, unattainable idea of perfection.  When we talk about feeling (or on most days, not feeling) together, what we really mean is that we’re supposed to do everything well, from every aspect of life, all the time.  We are supposed to have all the laundry done on schedule, cook all the healthy, but also good tasting, meals, keep the house clean, spend lots of quality uninterrupted time with our kids, while also being a wonderful wife and thorough and hardworking employee, as the case may be.  I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just writing that, much less trying to accomplish such a list!
I think it’s time to drastically modify our definition of having things together.  Why are we driving ourselves crazy trying to be something that isn’t even possible?  For my part, I’m working on seeing “together” as something much simpler.  My kids were fed, bathed and dressed today.  We had some time to play and, at other points during the day, I did some (but not all) of the housework while they played without me.  We are a homeschooling family, so I focused on the essentials of their schooling for the day.  The basic necessities were done, although perhaps not in the most orderly and smooth fashion.  There are still things that need to be finished, and that’s okay!  Let’s start being realistic with ourselves and each other; life is already hard enough without us putting such burdens on our own shoulders.
Let’s be okay with doing the best we can and stop trying to attain perfection.  Our kids need to see us slow down and not be so consumed with being everything to everyone, all the time.  We need to show them that, yes, we should work hard but also to have realistic expectations of ourselves and others.  We need to learn how to be all right with delayed projects, untidy rooms at times and days when the kids eat boxed macaroni, nuggets and fries.  None of these things mean that we have failed as an adult; they’re just an example of real life.  We’re not meant to be the perfect wife, mother, and employee all the time.  No human being can be perfect at even one of those things.  It is freeing to realize this simple, yet profound, truth.  Yes, absolutely work hard for your family but don’t despair when you don’t get it all right all the time, or even some of the time.  I personally don’t want to be a grandmother who still feels like she’s “not together.”  My daughter, only being 5 and not understanding the nuanced meaning that we have added to that word, viewed being together in a more straightforward, literal way.  It meant, to her, nothing more complicated than just being with family or friends, with no extra pressure.  We have made such a simple word needlessly complicated.  I think we would all do well to take her simple, more easygoing approach to that word and to life in general.  It would probably do us all some good.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Reflections on Grief and its Place in the Christian Life

When I am dealing with or trying to process hard emotions or thoughts, I have found that writing really is an aid to me in this endeavor So when I learned of the death of a dear, believing family friend, and as I have also been thinking of many christian friends who are dealing with their own losses ,my first impulse was to sit down and write. It has been a week; I have found that this has been much harder to write on than I expected. I think that we could all agree that our society in general doesn’t like to talk about or really deal with grieving. But sadly, I think this could be said of many Christians as well. This caused me to think about a lot of questions regarding the place true grief has in a Christian’s life.

How should I, as a Christian, feel about death? How should I see it? What feelings am I allowed to have about it? Is it okay to grieve, even if the person gone was a believer? Does our hope in the resurrection negate or keep us from truly grieving? Are we downplaying the amazing hope of the gospel if we are literally mourning?

I think these are questions we shouldn’t be afraid to think about and discuss with each other. There seems to be this idea that goes something like this. Since we know, as believers in Christ, that He at the end of all things overcomes death and sin, that this understanding should cause us to grieve less. Or at the very least, it should make our grieving less painful. Some might even venture to say that we shouldn’t really be all that sad, since, if the person we lost was a believer, then they are with the Lord and we will see them again in eternity. And besides, they are much happier anyway. Yes, those are absolutely beautiful and wonderful truths and we should cling to them. They should give us hope and an anchor for our souls but I don’t believe, and don’t see from a biblical standpoint, that this disqualifies us from feeling and experiencing our grief. I also don’t see that the comfort we have in Christ puts a time limit on our grief either. In other words, it’s been 6 months, your trust in Christ and the resurrection means you should be moving on by now. I think sometimes, as Christians, if others see us truly mourning, we are afraid that this will somehow dampen our witness for Christ.

As I read through 1 Corinthians 15, I am always struck by the beautiful words of comfort. As believers in the finished work of Christ, we know our weak, decaying bodies will be replaced by glorified ones:

1 Corinthians 15: 42-45, NASB
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

This is definitely something we should find joy and comfort in, but when will this happen? Paul tells us a few verses later:

1 Corinthians 15: 51-57 NASB
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

When will this happen? Later, in the future, whether soon or much later, we don’t know. But death is not yet defeated, at least, in our current experience. Death has taken someone from us and it shouldn’t be this way. Death, for the believer, will ultimately be crushed and we know that for certain. But right now, when we are dealing with the loss of someone we dearly loved, we are not seeing that victory firsthand. We are not yet in eternity with that person and our Lord. We are still missing that person, the sound of their voice, their affection or the ways they could make us laugh. We don’t have those things right now. We are still waiting for that ultimate victory to come and praise God that it will!

But in the meantime, while we wait, we can and should grieve. In fact, Paul in the letter to the church at Rome, acknowledges that mourning will happen. This is after he has spent the first 11 chapters outlining the wonderful and amazing truth of the gospel. Chapter 12 is a sort of “now what?” moment, now that I know all this, what do I do with it? How do I live out this faith with one another? Romans 12:15 (NASB) Paul says “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”
Notice Paul doesn’t say try and convince your fellow Christians not to mourn or limit your mourning etc. No, he simply says to grieve with those who are hurting. Mourning is not wrong and it does not undermine God and His work. It is a part of this world, that is still in sin. We can grieve while we eagerly await with joy the fulfillment of Christ’s promises. But this joy and eagerness do not need to compete with our grief.

One last example, again from Paul’s letters:

1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 NASB
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Notice Paul doesn’t say so that you will not grieve. He doesn’t end the sentence there. He qualifies it, saying so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope. Yes, we will still grieve, but with hope, but still with grief. One doesn’t negate or exclude the other.

I don’t think, myself included, we know how to mourn and lament anymore. We don’t know how to express and face our sadness. We want to do things to make it go away faster like eating or going on expensive trips etc. We want to rush through our grief as fast as we can. As believers, we shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to bring our grief to God and to each other. Read the Psalms or Job. Let’s reclaim the rite of grieving, while we also rejoice in the hope of Christ and His resurrection!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Lesson About Motherhood From Bike Riding

It is so strange sometimes how a simple, everyday family activity will cause me to think about deeper issues of my motherhood experience.  Today, the kids spent a couple hours riding their bikes around the parking lot.  In case anyone is concerned, my husband Luke, who is sighted, directed them and watched out for vehicles.  As I watched them work on their speed and balance, I began to think and as I find I so often do, I am now turning those thoughts into writing.  I hope they may be of some value to you.

I felt a bit of sadness in that I can't be the one to really, safely and effectively, oversee their bike riding attempts.  Vision is a very essential ability to possess in this endeavor, as there is a constant concern about cars or running into poles or parked vehicles.  I wondered if they were missing out because they can only ride their bikes when Luke is able to do this.  It felt unfair to them.
I then began to think about the summer, when our apartment complex pool opens up.  I realized that, as they are both still learning how to swim, I just don't feel safe taking both out to the pool by myself, at the same time. I am going to have to do a rotation, one day with Lexy and the other with Jon.  I felt like they would be missing out, not getting to play together in the water.  I wished I could give them that experience.  I wondered what other things they would not get to do, as fully or in the best ideal, because their mother can't see.

But then, I realized a couple things.  First, that every mother wonders this.  Every mother wonders if there is more she could or should be doing, if she should be doing everything completely different, if she is doing right by her kids, etc.  If it's not sight, then it's meals or screen time or sleep overs or... Well, you get the idea.  This train of thought isn't just only a blind mother thing.

Then, I finally started to really pay attention to what was happening after each child would finish their lap.  When Jon would come back from his, he would hang out with me, while Lexy went with Luke for her turn.  Jon would excitedly tell me what he had done on his turn, how fast he went and what silly games Luke played with him to encourage him to go even faster.  We would play a silly game we came up with, where he would drum on the handle bars and I would try to stop him by pushing his hands off.  He would laugh and ask to keep playing.
When it was Jon's turn, and Lexy was with me, she and I would talk about how excited she was to have a bike.  She would sit in my lap.  She would ring her bike bell and then tell me what "bike was saying."  She asked me if it was going to be sunny tomorrow and if we could have "swing time.", where I push her in the porch swing and we talk and/or pretend.

My lack of vision isn't stopping them and I from having fun experiences together. It may, by necessity, cause those activities to be one thing instead of another, but the experiences of mother and child are still happening.  We are still connecting and growing together.  We are still learning.  Attachment and trust are still being shaped.  This is true no matter what factor you may feel limits you as a mother.  This is such a freeing and beautiful thing to realize.  I am very glad I did and I hope you will also.