Grace Under Pressure

Rolf and I had a conversation recently about the value of disappointment in the lives of our kids.  As a follow up, Rolf forwarded the following article to me…“How Middle School Failures Lead To Medical School Success” and I think it’s worth sharing.  I appreciate the article because I not only have a vested interest in the emotional health of  medical professionals but because it also affirms my views on the subject as it applies to life in general.  As much as I want to protect my kids from disappointment or heartache, the reality is that if I can help them navigate these experiences rather than shield them from it, they will learn the important life lessons (as quoted from the article) of “resilience and self-worth that lead to grace under pressure” and ” the ability to face adversity with intelligence and equilibrium”.   Bottom line:  I sooooo want this for my kids!!!

This is a timely subject to ponder as I’ve revisited prayers for balance and emotional stability for the big sibs lately.  Rolf and I have tried hard to be “present” for the big sibs and create as normal a lifestyle as possible since Rudy came onto the scene but the reality is that they have had to sacrifice certain things and make things happen for themselves when Rolf and I haven’t been available.  Our life is different and I pray the resulting effect is a positive one for all of us.  I want  my kids to know that life is beautiful and rich and something to be valued but it will also bring with it challenge and I pray the lessons we’re learning from Rudy will empower the big sibs to face the challenges in their lives with intelligence, balance, compassion and grace.

It feels to me that there has been a shift in focus recently…when Rudy was a baby, his care was consuming but it was hands-on and something we did at home…together.  In recent months, what has been the most consuming is the management of Rudy’s care between the various agencies with which we partner and I feel like it has eaten up more of my time and emotional energy…time away from and energy not given to the older sibs.  I’m not quite sure how to achieve a sense of balance again…food for thought at this stage in the game, I guess,  but I think a much needed break from school and therapy during spring break next week will help me regroup a bit.

Hey, speaking of “food”…Rudy sure is making progress with eating food by mouth.  With the extra practice at school and with Nurse Dodi, Rudy is happy to try new tastes and textures but also knows what he does and does not like.  Mint ice cream remains top on his list as he demonstrated to Olivia last week:

It’s exciting to see him show more and more interest in food!  Dr. Kelts called yesterday with the results of Rudy’s ultrasound…as expected, his liver is enlarged (likely due to back pressure related to his heart) but there isn’t anything we can do about it…the test results mainly serve as baseline information for us at this point.  It also revealed that Rudy has gall bladder stones.   Again, it’s not something we need to address but what the heck?!  So, with the ultrasound behind us we have a break from Dr. appts for a couple of weeks which coincides nicely with spring break which coincides nicely with our warmer temps…spring fever is definitely running rampant in our household!  🙂  Happy Spring everyone!

8 thoughts on “Grace Under Pressure

  1. Ah, Trish. This is such good thinking, wondering, stretching, recognizing limits, celebrating successes. All four of your children are amazing tributes to you and to Rolf, to your commitment under tremendous amounts of pressure and stress. SO sorry about the dang gallstones. Geez Louize. (Love the videos – and Livvy sounds so grown up, it’s downright scary.)

  2. I have taught middle schools – and been fired – because rather than making the world all success and praise, even when it’s not real – I chose to truly evaluate a kid and then help him navigate that and find a way to succeed. Yes, FIRED is the word. In my own family, we have had a series of needy kids – with one quite ill and demanding. My hope is always that the sibs will see that because sometimes I put everything down to do what needs to be done for one, I will do the same for each of them. I am happy to report that my own youngest child is starting medical school this year. He has survived a lot, a rocky middle school coming out of homeschool, and the suicide of his brother. He is resilient, determined, compassionate and quite able to see the “big picture’ – let’s see if the medical school thing holds up. Prayers for your family, prayers for all of us parents, trying to balance it all and come out with our feet under us.

  3. Thanks Trish for sharing your heart and that really good article. May you and the family enjoy Easter break.
    @Ann glad that you did not compromise but sorry that you were fired! May God bless and guide your son through medical school!

  4. Wow…what a great article on how to parent our kids to help them be strong and well-balanced. From all I’ve seen your kids have a good foundation in that. And what fun to see Rudy lapping up the ice cream. So adorable…as always.

    Much love–and best wishes for a wonderful spring break next week!

  5. I have said it many times…For a child with Rudy’s challenges, God certainly chose a perfect family for him. You are doing a superb job as parents and you share, plan and talk with each other!! I pray for continued health for both of you and all of the kids– God bless you “real good”!

  6. Thanks for posting. We love you guys. What is normal? You are such a loving family and I am convinced the hard days WILL make all your kids stronger and more powerful witnesses! This is all a training ground anyway, right… and you all are getting more “training” and refining than the rest of us. Love you….

  7. Yes…I really liked the article, and I think, being a teacher who loves to give A’s and B’s….it gave me pause, healthy awareness of how a C and D may probably be better for the occasional child! (There is so much adapting going on….sometimes I think too much!) And I agree that in families we don’t need to protect our kids from life: economic frustration, disappointment, failure in business and sorrow. Your kids are going to be STRONG and COMPASSIONATE….they already are! Rudy is a taster…yay!!!

  8. Trish and Rolf, you are the greatest parents, and I don’t know how everyone is involved in as many activities as you all are. Well, it’s probably because Trish keeps everyone organized and running smoothly! Miss you!

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