A Library Trip

I saw them. The young mother and her three children leaving the library. I had stopped there one morning by myself to drop off our huge load of books (my children are big readers). It is our small local branch, but really quite cozy inside.  It is our favorite one to go to.  This mom was holding a child and her older two were walking beside her.  The two older children had their little backpacks on and were weighted down with their haul from the library.  They looked so cute and quite content.  I took a look at the mom’s eyes and she looked happy and peaceful….

That scene made me think of so much….some of my thoughts went a along these lines:

- I really loved that time of life, when my children were all small, and the day was yours to do with whatever you wanted.  You know, never having to look at the clock and wonder if you missed the bus or if you had to hurry to get your child off the bus…the day was yours.

- I loved being able to run to the library, to the park, to get ice cream ….I simply loved and still love my time with my children.

- I could go back and re-start my family again I would do it in a second.

- Life goes by so quickly

- Life was so hard when Elizabeth was that age

- I have not seen those relaxed eyes looking back at me in the mirror since before Elizabeth was born…WOW did I just think that?

- Yes! yes I did

- I can’t believe I just thought that!!!

- It is true, so why do I feel bad thinking it??….

After this mental ping-pong game I then found myself reflecting…

Quite a few memories of our early excursions with Elizabeth float through my brain at this point.  I remember the tears and fear in her eyes.  The times when going to the park was too much for her to handle.  The looks from other moms and people, who had never seen a child like Elizabeth before….It had been hard….it has been so very much work.

“Why do I do this to myself…why do I allow myself to go down that particular “Memory Lane?” I think to myself….  It is not like it is fun or helpful or anything other than anxiety provoking….but still there I was…firmly walking down the memory path, when all I wanted was to return some books.

I wonder if other parents of special needs children do this?  See the parent who is simply content…and wonder…..just for a moment…..what it would be like….what it COULD be like…to feel that calm….that feeling of lack of concern or worry about meltdowns or overloads…to walk to the car after the library and know all is well.  That there are no therapy appointments to go to, or sensory diets to complete at home….just a car ride home to enjoy.

I don’t wonder often but sometimes I do.   Maybe it is my mood of the day or maybe Elizabeth is not having a good day or maybe it is just that time when I feel tired….those are the times I do wonder or think.

Back to the parking lot….

I kind of busied myself at this point getting my books out of my car and when I looked up, they were gone.  Just the back of their van was visible and it got smaller and then was gone completely. And just like that, “Memory Lane” was gone…  I closed the trunk of my car, hoisted the bag of books on my shoulder and went into the library by myself.  I kind of felt tired now, almost like I had had a bit too hard of a workout.

I know I am not the same person I was before Elizabeth was born, I know I will probably never be that carefree person that I was….but on my way in I allowed myself to think that in so many ways I am a better, stronger more determined and focused person than most people my age.

That no matter what, my daughter is worth EVERY worry and effort….that not giving up on her, fighting for  her may be harder work than most will know.  But all of it is worth it when you think that you are giving your child the best chances in life.

By the time I came out of the library, I was feeling more settled. There was no one in the parking lot and considering how hard this memory lane thing is.  I am not going to lie..I was quite relieved!

We are all on these unique journeys, filled with so many emotions each and everyday.  Who knew a simple trip to the library could come with all these thoughts?!  Wishing you peace this week.

 

 

 

 

 

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Job Description

It is funny but when you are young the one thing you are asked more than anything is “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  The answers given are always interesting especially if you ask a three year old.  They usually respond with an unusual combination like a candy maker and astronaut.  But the point is from such an early age, we seem to have our eye on the future..the what do you want to be?

As time goes on and one’s interest become more focused and more finite, then the decision of “what you are going to be?” becomes a bit clearer…the path a bit  more defined.

Soon you find yourself at that moment where you have to chose a path…and the rest of the options will then fade away.  Like the  moment you declare a major….suddenly you are on the path to a goal, so the wish and desire to “try” other things takes a backseat to the one to achieve this goal.

With good fortune, the path you chose, and the goal you set make you happy.  Then you can enjoy the journey as well as the moment you achieve your goal.

I went to college for nursing, I love to help people, I love the medical stuff and I loved the caring that goes into nursing.   I was happy with the path I chose and it did make me happy.  I chose community health as my focus, I did not chose to work in a hospital and I really have never regretted it. This job required caring, patience, flexibility and knowledge of community health issues.  I felt comfortable with this…so the job was a good one for me.

Time marched on and then I was faced with a job change….the  choice to continue to work or become a stay-at-home mom for my first child.  It took all of two seconds to decide that I wanted to be home.  Again a path is chose, again I was happy and again I NEVER regretted this choice. This new job required love, hugs, patience, the ability to teach, and to enjoy this new life.    I think I met these requirements…so the job was a great fit.

Elizabeth was born in 1997, it is that day that my path changed, oh, sure I was still a stay-at-home mom, but now the path was NOT the one I was on before she was born.  No the job had changed…it description had changed.  In addition to the above mentioned requirements, we had to add so many more…ones we did not even know we really possessed.

I often think of all the requirements needed to raise typical children and then I add in the ones that only parents of special needs children would understand.

The following is the job description of a parent or caregiver of a special needs child

-Looking for a person capable of waking each morning to uncertainty but able to smile

-Must possess the ability to multi-task-to do typical things in life while giving special attention to the child who has special needs.

-Must be able to divide time among all children-to praise each child for being “their” best

-Must be able to keep an eye on the future but not lose sight of the joy of today

- Has the ability to rejoice in any success of their special needs child-even if the success would seem to others as insignificant.

The interested person must have the strength to advocate for their special-needs child…in the schools and in life

- Must be able to stand up and either cheer the loudest for them, or speak up the loudest for them when they cannot do it themselves.

-To be on call 24/7

-To be able to learn much …from books, therapists and experiences as well as from the special needs child themselves

-To be able to know the road is long but to see the good in each day.

–To hug and love as much as possible

If I posted this as a true want ad…I wonder how many takers there would be.  So many of us have this job…for those who do…please take a moment to know how great you are.

Wishing you all a peaceful week.

 

A Review by Jean Hall for Readers’ Favorite

Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers’ Favorite

Raising a special needs child seems to be like nurturing a rose with many thorns. Holding onto the stem is painful, but the bloom can be spectacular. Michele Gianetti, R.N., writes I Believe In You and she shares her worthwhile, but sometimes painful journey. Michele and her husband John bring Elizabeth into the world, along with their other two children, Emily and Michael. But Elizabeth is different. After a time of denial there is a diagnosis — dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder. There is lack of coordination for dyspraxia. And there is heightened and disordered reaction to sensory input or stimulation. Elizabeth must constantly be calmed and held to soothe her exquisite nerves. There is crying and screaming at the smallest change in physical circumstances, visual cues, or temperature. Michele tries out different types of therapies in a kind of deliberate chess game. Ever so slowly, progress is made.

Michele Gianetti makes a slow introduction to her parenting and medical tale. It seems necessary to explain some of the medical terms and circumstances in order to fully appreciate her family’s life. Then the floodgates are open and the book seems cathartic for this courageous mom. This special story of a mother and daughter’s journey has many practical resources for families in similar situations. But Michele’s insights and care in observing her daughter’s challenges could be applied to more ordinary behavioral challenges. The table of contents is helpful for reference after the book is read. Michele Gianetti’s I Believe In You is a master course in intelligent and spiritually-based parenting.