My immediate thought was that I would want to go back and spend more time with my Mom. Grasp more wisdom, feel more hugs, laugh until our sides ached again. Or maybe to go back and spend time with my kids as babies again, and soak in more of that delicious baby smell and squeeze those chubby little legs again. Or that moment when they laid one of my kids on my chest and my heart cracked open. I would relive those memories a million times over if I could.
But it got me thinking to that day when I knew I had a child with a disability, and the years since. Would I change that if I could, I wondered? Honestly, I don’t know that I would change it, if I could go back in time and have a “different” daughter than the one I have. I adore my daughter, and her challenges have made her even more special. I think given a chance at walking, she would be “special”, of course, but somehow I think her disability makes her even more amazing. It has made her stronger, more confident, and more giving than anyone I know. When asked to write what made her special yesterday at a girl scout meeting, she wrote that what makes her special is that she is happy. And she is. She is happy with who she is, with all her gifts and her limitations.
And if I am being totally honest, I think having her has made me a much better person. I am happier, I am calmer, I am much stronger than I even knew I was. Being her Mom has made me a more confident person, and a person who has a sense of what things are truly important in life. I don’t think I get derailed by the little things anymore, and I do stop and enjoy the life I have with its gifts and limitations too. I feel lucky. Not like I need to change something.
I wish some days that she could walk and that all of our lives would be easier. Not so much lifting and schlepping of walkers and wheelchairs, and being able to run and jump and play outside easier. I do on occasion envy those Moms sitting on a bench at the park, or a chair at the pool, when I have to be knee deep in it all and help my daughter play or swim or do anything. But I really do not think, at my very core, that I would wish to go back in time and have a different child. Our life is magical, and special, and not boring or ordinary ever. And that is a true gift.
I think I will choose to move forward, like my Mom always told me. Looking back gets you no where, but looking ahead, well that’s where the real fun comes in.