I feel as if being a special needs parent somehow defines me in a way. It has become part of my being, part of who I am. I am a wife, a sister, a writer, a non-profit employee, an advocate, and also a mom of a little girl who has a disability. I almost feel the need to “explain” that part of myself or divulge it when I meet someone new.
The woman doing my mammogram for instance last week. Now, why did I need to tell her? It was on my mind. The pain of the mammogram was bad, and I found myself thinking of all the things my little girl goes through on a daily basis and trying to focus on that. Which I then had to explain out loud. For some crazy reason.
Maybe it is a badge of honor I carry that I want to share. Or an explanation of why I look tired sometimes, or why I am oh so chill when others are stressed. Like I have seen the edge of the cliff and I am now a few healthy strides back from it.
Life looks different for us I think. We have this amazing ability to see the crazy and see what is truly something to get stressed out about. The little things, naaa – I have no time for that. I’m saving it for the big things in life that may be down my road.
I also sometimes wonder who my daughter would be without her disability? Would she be a soccer player, or a gymnast if she could move her body better? More importantly would she have such an amazing strength and constant smile. Would she be that person who is always happy and laughing? Or is her inner strength and big spirit a result of her living with a disability?
I don’t know. But days like this I feel very lucky. Not as if I missed out on that other life, but that I have gained so much from this experience!