Monday, November 30, 2009

Motherhood: it's like Deja Vu, all over again....

So, a couple of weeks ago I was with Chaz and Lauren at the children's hospital at University of Michigan waiting for Lauren to get her hearing tested. This had been a much longer than necessary amount of time spent at the hospital - who knew that a 2 year old could go 9 hours during the day without eating?? We're in the parent's waiting room waiting for the nurse to come get us and tell us that Lauren was absolutely fine.

While there, I began chatting with a couple who also had a daughter they were waiting for. Her procedures were much more intensive, serious and long than Lauren's mere ABR. This Mom, like me, had been blessed with a child, years ago, who has required much of her and proven time and time again, that she (the daughter) was up for the task and given Mom the opportunity to dig deep into herself, over and over again, to find the strength, patience, nerves and grace to face the next day with the same, un-bewildered face that the rest of us are used to living with.

(If you haven't read this blog before then you don't know that my oldest daughter, Ada, 24 years, has Russell-Silver syndrome and autism: a charming & puzzling combination of smallness and drive.)

While waiting and talking, Chaz commented that I'd been "doing this for a long time" and it is so true. When my first born was given to me, 24 years ago, I was catapulted into an unknown world: one of diagnoses, uncertainties, angst, dr's visits and waiting.

Fast forward many years and here I am, again: raising a child who is different than most, raising a child with an uncertain future and lots of unknown quantities.

But, you know what?It feels good. It is familiar, it is uncertain and it is hopeful. Ada taught me more than I can ever say. I wish I hadn't burned so many tears worrying about her but at least I don't have to do that for her little sister, Lauren. While Lauren may not always get the best of me: 45 years old, arthritic, fibromyalgic, tired, worn-down and weary--- at least she gets a mother who isn't worried about every little thing: one who knows that her potential is every bit as important as her diagnosis and that no amount of worry ever adds up to the outcome.
I have a perspective that cannot be bought or paid for. People describe me as calm, accepting and peaceful. Hard to believe but it's true. My children have defined much more than any thing else in my life.
So, as I sit and stack blocks for the 1 gazillionith time, I remember that this is important: this is what my child needs right now and I know that because I learned it from my firstborn child.

Thank God we get do overs.


Traci H. said...

This post is amazing. I can learn so much from this. While my girl does not have special needs, I also do not have the grace and calmness that you do (how does that work, exactly?). I should print this out and put it on the fridge. I swear the worrying is going to get me! Anyway, this is exactly what I needed to read today, and yes, I'm being self-absorbed and applying it to my completely unrelated situation, but hey, that works for me! So thanks!

Rhonda M. said...

Wow! I'm amazed that you could sum it all up into words! And girl, those words are felt in the very core of my being! You lead by example, and you have amazing children who follow in your footsteps. Your an awesome mother, wife, and friend! Our children are our frustration and inspiration, and they truly make our lives much richer and fuller with their smiles, laughter and all things that they do each and every day! I wouldn't trade it for anything! I am also very happy for what I have, and to be a mother to a child with a disability is challenging at times, but we live, learn love unconditionally and move along! That's what we do! And Life is SO good! Hugs to you and the family!

Alicia said...

You never fail to inspire...

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