In the midst of an epic little human meltdown, I repeat those words to myself over and over. “This too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass.” For some parents, that is a sad and emotional phrase. Babies will only be babies for so long, the “terrible two’s” will pass, the “tyrant at three” will cease to be. Their children will grow up and grow out of most phases in their life. For many SN parents, that phrase is sad and emotional because we don’t know if and when “this too shall pass.” The honest answer and phrase that I should be chanting to myself is “you can do this! This meltdown will end and you will survive. Life will go on.” Sometimes, we don’t know that it will pass. The fear that our children will be stuck in this season (whatever it is on your end) forever is a VERY REAL FEAR for many of us. Will my child ever think beyond a 3 year old. Will my child ever be able to walk or run with their friends. Will my child ever learn to read or be able to be in mainstream school. Will my child ever have real friends. Will my child ever talk or know me. Will my child :: insert fear here :: is a constant shadow over many of us.
We don’t really talk about this fear. If we talk about the fear then it is real. If we talk about the fear then it can become a stigma. If we talk about the fear then we are bad parents. Horseshit. Talk about the fear and give it a name. Talk about the fear so that it can’t hide behind a door or in a closet or under the bed. Talk about the fear so that it is open and out there and not just swimming around in the “what if’s” of your brain. Talk about the fear so that others will know that they’re not the only one’s that have the same exact fear for their child and their life. If there isn’t a safe place for you to talk about it in your physical life, then talk about it here. Talk about it with and to people that do understand and get it. Talk about it so that other people will know that IT IS OK to have said fears and that it doesn’t in the slightest of ways make you a bad person or parent.
When it comes to my little human, my fears change pretty frequently. This week my fear is that little human will never have the life and childhood she deserves. She deserves the absolute best that life has to give her, and I am simply not measuring up to that. There are actually nights that I cry into hair as she sleeps in my arms and apologize over and over for her being stuck with me as a mom. I am actually tearing up even writing this post because sometimes I don’t think she was given the right mom for this task, for her and all that she is. Despite her limits, my little human is the absolute best thing on the planet. She is so happy and smiling and fun. She is determined and playful and joyous. All she wants to do is play. She wants to sit in my lap and read a book or throw her blocks everywhere or make sand angels in her sandbox. She wants to watch mickey mouse or moana and flap around. She wants to go outside when it’s 100 degrees or come inside after we’ve only been outside for 5 minutes. Tired, exhausted, not in the mood… these aren’t things that my SN child understands. She doesn’t understand that I am tired or sick. She doesn’t understand why she has to stay in bed at 3 a.m. when she just wants to get up and play after being in bed only 3 or so hours. All she wants is me (or her daddy.) She doesn’t understand why she can’t have guppy and poppop all the time. She doesn’t understand “later, not now, or in a few minutes.” This is my fear today: I am not enough and this too shall NOT pass. She deserves a mom who is “on point” all of the time. She deserves a mom who can give her everything she needs in every moment of the day. She deserves a mom who can play and keep up with her. She deserves a mom who is excited to wake up at 3 a.m. to play with their daughter regardless of the hour. She deserves a mom who doesn’t miss her job, because she see’s the blessing of being able to stay at home with her little human. Today my fear is that my little human deserves so much better than me. There it is. Out there in the open..
This feeling will pass and I’ll get my emotions in check. I will pick up and carry on. But the fear is still there, ever present, regardless of how true it really is or not, and I will carry it. We as SN parents so often carry this type of weight around because we think it is just us. We think that our lives are so “out there” and can’t see beyond the scope of our day to day or diagnosis or how our child “should be” that we forget that this fear isn’t a “special needs thing,” that it is actually a “parenting thing.” SN parents.. share your stories with others so we can know that we’re not alone in the fear. Non SN parents.. share YOUR stores so we can know we’re not alone in the fear. First and foremost our children are children and we need to realize that a lot of the exact same fear that we have, others have as well and not just within our own SN community.
It took a trip to the dentist for me to realize that concept. That regardless of our SN “troubles” that everyday things are going to happen. Our little human is 5 going on 6. We went to the dentist for the first time a few months ago (yes, yes… I know I know) because we were worried about LH’s bottom teeth spreading out & her bruxism (teeth grinding) – well… the dentist came in, said “all is well”, and to expect her bottom teeth to start coming out soon. Wait a second and hold the phone! I had literally forgotten that regardless of her perceived social and cognitive impairment.. that life will go on. That she will grow just like every other kid, and that soon we will start to collect baby teeth! What a simple thing it is to have a baby tooth and a dentist bring you back to the reality that regardless of what season of parenting I am in, that other parent’s are also “in” it with me. Yes, the conversations may be different, but the premise is the same. We are all out to raise the best little humans that we can. Some roads may be harder than other’s.. but remember that YOU CAN DO IT! This meltdown will end and you will survive. Life will go on.
**I also had to run out and get the absolute cutest little “tooth” pouch.. thanks Heather @ Flutterby Designs!