I think this has something to do with being a special needs Mom. It requires amazing feats of flexibility that most will never see. Days don’t go seamlessly by for any parents, strictly following the plan in your head. But our days are a whole different category of flexibility. I truly never can tell if a night will bring sleep or not. My daughter may be up anywhere between 2-6 times, 7 times being her all time high of late. She loses her motor planning at night and needs me to physically readjust her body. Over and over again. I can reach the daylight hours and have literally gotten a smidge of maybe four hours in a night. But I still have to get up and go. I still have to get up and lift my daughter out of bed, take her to the bathroom, get her dressed, get her wheelchair and her into the car and get to school. I still have to do my job. I still have to care for my other kids and make lunches and drive to school, and shuttle to sports, and hep with homework. The show must go on – and the show does!!
I read a blog post by a special needs Mom recently that spoke to the fact that special needs parents seem to have an amazing sense of calm. I believe this. I see the Mom’s in the waiting room at therapy, the Moms whose kids are having melt downs from anxiety or sensory issues, I see the look of exhaustion in them – but really also a sense of calmness. They have seen this movie and they know they can ride through it. They know the other side of it will be ok, or at least their own sense of normal for their child and family. They know what things are truly important to freak out about and what things just are not worth the energy. Or they know enough to save that energy for when the boat is really rocking.
His Mom, Chris Spieth, is quoted as saying “Jordan wouldn’t be where he’s at today if he didn’t grow up with Ellie.” Ellie teaches her family patience. Ellie teaches her family that things will not always go according to plan and that you have to be flexible to manage the rough spots. Every special needs child teaches us those things. A young man on a golf course is so much better off knowing the utter core of flexibility in his life and in his game.
We may not all be able to do cartwheels and the perfect splits these days as parents, but we are all super hero’s of flexibility in our worlds. You may not realize it, but other parents are in awe of you and your patience, and the way you can bend like a gymnast.