I should be a pro at this by now, nothing should surprise me.
When she was young the reminders poked through our every day…
children talking in full sentences, baby book pages I was unable to complete, the furrowed brow of our hundredth specialist.
The weight of her diagnosis, the uncertainty of her future, hunched my shoulders and exhausted me while giving me energy all at once.
I shrugged off that weight until I stood taller, more certain of who she was, a tiny bit comfortable with an unknown future.
And then the future was now.
We are here, heading to adulthood and I know. I am certain that we don’t need the college financial aid application that just came in the mail. We will not be making plans for driver’s education after school and I can delete every email reminder for ACT prep.
I also know that I should be okay with all of this. My daughter is a happy, confident teenager who has made amazing progress. I tell myself this every time I am given a reminder of what isn’t.
But sometimes I am surprised at that familiar sting, how quickly it can return. I drop the college information flyer into the trash just as swiftly as the preschool roundup advertisement that mistakenly arrived 15 years ago.
We are still headed in our own direction, they have the wrong address once again. The sound of ripping another unnecessary reminder is just as satisfying as it has always been.
I head to her room and stop my daughter’s chair as she spins, her head tilted as she smiles. I hug her because she will let me and I need what only she can give…
a reminder that life is fine just as it is.
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It stings me now, (my daughter is almost 11), when she says things like, “when I go to college,” or “when I drive,” or “when I’m a teacher.” She has those dreams, and I don’t shoot them down. College is almost certainly out of the question, but maybe she WILL drive (although I doubt it), and even if she can’t be a teacher, maybe she can work in a school and help a teacher… it still hurts though… and her 14 year old sister has a very hard time with these comments, sometimes in a hurtful way: “oh be quiet, you’ll never go to college” etc… I “sush” her cause I don’t want her to hurt her sister’s feelings, but I think this is her (14 yr old’s) way of processing her little sister’s disability. (I do have her in a sibling support group). It’s all such a minefield of emotions!
hannah singer says
thank you xoxo
My Inner Chick says
***But sometimes I am surprised at that familiar sting, how quickly it can return. ****
So many of us can identify w/ that sentence.
This is a great way to look at it…I’m still wondering and worrying about what the future holds because they keep changing – which is a great thing! – but still scary.
That last line says it all. Sometime living life just the way it is, is absolutely enough.
Love those pieces to our hearts that only children can give through hugs.
Echoing what Dani wrote… but I’ll add that the image of you walking into her room and kissing her as she spun in the chair made me smile. Hard.
I think the only thing I can do when things get complicated and I feel the mom guilt is to hang onto her a little more and hope it’s a day when she’ll let me.
Feeling a little longing for a road not taken doesn’t cancel out the beauty of the road we’re walking. That’s what I tell myself.
Kathy at kissing the frog says
That was beautiful! ^^ I think that can be applicable to a lot of things in life.
That is perfectly said and something I need to remember. There are so many times when I feel guilty for not appreciating every bit of it.
It does still sting sometimes doesn’t it. Thankfully not as much and not as often. I’m right there with you with this one. <3
I’m always surprised that it still does. No where near the way it did when she was little but sometimes it definitely does.
Sybil @ Peace it all Together says
The differences are hard for me, too. Just when I think I am okay with how things are, I see another 5-year old boy doing something that my son should be doing. I am forever his mother, which means I will always notice. Reading this made me feel less alone in my feelings. Thank you.
I’m so glad it made you feel less alone. I’ve always had a hard time seeing kids the same age. I will be doing just fine in our own little bubble and then I see where we could be and it bursts.
Dani G says
This is a good reminder for me. Ten years behind you. Feeling all the feelings.
Hugs. So grateful to have you in my life.
So grateful to have you too. I still need to remind myself that I just need to feel all the feelings. The only way out is through… I have to tell myself that all the time.