Saturday, May 11, 2019

Hey Momma, I see you. Happy Mother's Day.

Hey sweet Momma,

I just wanted to say “Happy Mother’s Day” and… I see you.

I see you wishing and praying that today – and, honestly, every day – will be the day you hear your child’s voice.

I see you hoping that today you can attend church or a family gathering without a meltdown from the child you love with all of your heart. Because the last thing we want to do on Mother’s Day – or any day – is to be apologizing for our child whose body and mind create a world of challenges for them.

I see the anxiety rising in you as you prepare to leave your home, not knowing if today is going to be a good day or will be one filled with challenges for your child and the judgment you face even on your best outings.

I see you hurting as you scroll through Facebook seeing the posts of homemade gifts and cards, wishing your child had the fine motor skills to create something you know would match the amazing heart they have.

I see you researching treatments and therapies and absorbing every ounce of education you can to help your child live the best life possible.

I see you advocate. For education. For inclusion. For government funding. For federal regulations. For your child.

I see you feel as though you are not enough, that you are missing something, that you have failed, that you are upset for losing your cool, or missing an appointment, or breaking down and crying in front of your child or friend, or loved one.

I see your exhaustion, from today, from thinking about tomorrow, and from planning for the next 40 years… because you have to.

I see you, sweet Momma. I see all of this and so much more and I want you to know that I think you are amazing.

Our lives are different and most days it’s easy to forget that – at least for me it is. I am so focused on “us” and our happy that I forget that not every parent is helping their 20-year-old in the bathroom, helping them cut up their food, or tucking them into bed at night. We live each day the best we can to fill it with as much love and laughter as we can and we just, well we just “live”. We don’t focus on ability or disability; we just focus on each person for the incredible person they are.

Days like today though, the interrupt our normal and remind us that… we are not. And while I encourage my children to strive to be different because normal is boring – living with a disability that your lives revolve around is a bit more than different and it makes days like this an emotional challenge.

For us, today will be filled with traveling and family and everything out of our normal routine and schedule. We have an amazing, loving, supportive family who wants us to be a part of this special day, like all other holidays.  And we want to be there too, with them, and an active part of our family. 

Sometimes that works out beautifully and other times, it turns into days I regret even trying and leaving the comfort of our home. A meltdown is a meltdown is a meltdown but when they happen 2 hours from home they feel more like a MELTDOWN than just a meltdown.

While I love my family more than anything, holidays are a reminder of what I am missing – not just what my son is missing but what *I* am missing. My son requires almost constant attention – and he wants it from me which means sitting and talking to family members, catching up and reminiscing doesn’t happen as I had imagined it would. While it has gotten so much easier over the years, my attention is still 98% focused on keeping my son content and 2% in joining in conversation with my family which is that reminder that our lives are simply not simple or the same.

But, we go. We go and we try and we pray for the best because family is important to us – and we are important to them.

Just as my friends are important to me, which is why I “like” and “love” their social media posts of the incredible things their children accomplish and celebrate with them. And I know, we  - and our accomplishments - are important to them, too.

This Mother’s Day may be another reminder that this little life of ours isn’t like most others and while sometimes that really hurts – at the end of these long days, I get to tuck my 20-year old into bed, let him kiss my cheek and know that more than anything I am loved before having one on one time with my daughter to catch up on her day.  And that, that is a pretty incredible way to wrap up each day.

Sweet Momma, I see you. I FEEL you. I understand you. I am you. I know this Mother’s Day will come with its challenges but I also know that you are so very loved and doing the most amazing job. I wish you the most wonderful Mother’s Day and a reminder that no matter how isolating this life can feel, you are not ever alone on this journey. And believe me, when you look at that sweet baby – no matter their age – that gave you the title of “mom” they love and appreciate you, too. And I wish for you 5 uninterrupted minutes in the shower… because *ahhhh* that is priceless!

And to my children, Thank You! Seriously, with every single ounce of my being (which doesn’t feel like enough) THANK YOU for being the incredible beings that call me Mom. You are my everything and for as long as I am on this earth, I will be here for you; to support you, to encourage you, to cheer for you, to cry with you, and most importantly to unconditionally love you. All I ever wanted was to be a mom and you both made that dream come true. Every single day I cherish that. I love you both.

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