Rollercoaster

I have NEVER been a fan of being out of control. Its something that must be ingrained within me. Its funny how that changes when you are handed a deck of cards you never expected and you are to manage them with as much strength as you can.

Recently I have felt out of control. I bundle my child up, brush her hair and send her on a bus. She takes it across town to school. There are LOVING individuals there. I am sure of it but while she is gone I am expected to have "me" time. When she is there I try. I try to work out but as I jump up and down trying to get fit, I wonder if they are meeting her needs. I wonder if she has speech. I wonder if she has OT. I wonder if she's making progress and I fall into this hole wishing I could control all that is her life. The way I have for three years.

I was gifted this book. I began reading it and the first chapter resonated deeply within me. A mom questioning to doctors, knowing that her child was different and begging for answers. A mom wishing and hoping that it wasn't true. A mom thrust into a life she didn't choose. A life she didn't ask for and a life she wished she could change but change can only be through finding the gifts within a diagnosis and making the child she has been given the best child he or she can be. As I read, I got scared. Was I doing enough? Did the teachers understand? Did they really care? This was MY child. This was MY hope. This was MY dream and it was shattered.

I carefully combed my IEP and found flaws. I carefully drafted emails and found faults. I wrote back with a vengeance being the voice my child did not have and then I wondered....was this right?

I don't know what is right. I don't know how to make the strides I want but I know what I want for MY child just like any parent dreams for their child and so with the responses and the answers I began to feel deflated. As I read further into the book I spiraled. I wondered if it would ever get better.

I called a friend. That lifeline. Poor girl has been my lifeline for 6 years. She told me to put it down. She told me she saw progress. She told me I was doing what I could. Was I?

I tried to put it down. I did.

Tonight though as I soaked my ravaged legs thanks to T-25, I read. Again, that story resonated. I understood. I connected. I felt rejuvenated.

I jumped out of that lukewarm bath, I dressed. I cradled that little one in my arms and began to read. I pointed out the pictures. I named all the animals. I asked questions. She could answer. She could point. She knew what I was talking about. Sure, she was singing some random "Peanut Butter" song as I read but she was listening. She heard.

This life. This life with special needs is nothing I chose. Its not something I would wish on others but its my life. It is good. Its not easy and there are times I fear and I doubt but it is the deck of cards I was given so its time I buckle up, I embrace the falls where my stomach jumps into my throat and I lift my arms in praise and thanksgiving in those moments of joy because this roller coaster I never would have ridden is my life.

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