Monday, August 31, 2009
It couldn't have happened to a better person.
Most of you who are regular readers, or who know us well, know that when Avery was 16 months old things were just beginning to go awry. She was still holding on to some developmental skills, but slowly we were beginning to realize that she was not moving in the direction she should, and that she was not going to BE the child we thought she was. Who knew how the child she HAS become and is becoming would be so instrumental in our own personal growth, healthy perspective and understanding of unconditional love.
Same old story... only NOW we get to experience parenthood from a whole new perspective. Like those of you who are blessed to have one boy and one girl, and to experience the vast innate differences each gender sets forth, we too are blessed to have one sweet, yet neurologically impaired child, and one sorta sweet, feisty, albeit typically developing toddler. We aren't over the hump of worry yet... I think until Kaylin is 2 and half and hasn't shown any sort of regression I will continue to have a lump in my throat... but for now (fingers crossed, knock on wood) she is doing just fine.
But what most of you won't understand is that even if she wasn't, I would still consider myself doubly blessed. You see, the gift of time, love, heartache, and simple joy has enabled me to really "get" what is important. YES... it is incredibly important to me that my children function at their best, BUT, if Kaylin's best were similar to Avery's best, I know that in time, that would be okay too. Most important are the tender moments we share. The simple connections we make and the love we can express in whatever way possible. Avery SHOWS me she loves me in several ways, while Kaylin can just happen to tell me so.
Now I am finally able to see what many of my friends experienced with their first children... which involves the joy of spontaneous language, not having to "teach" a baby to use a spoon and fork... (they just pick it up), kids who understand what you are saying, and who can follow directions. I remember hearing friends talk about the funny things their kids said and feeling my eyes well up with tears... but now Kaylin says funny things and I realize the vast importance of celebrating what each of our kids CAN do. It's all about how you look at it.
Regardless, one thing I was thinking about today is how when Avery was first diagnosed with Autism and Mastocytosis, SEVERAL people made comments about how it couldn't have happened to a better mom. At the time, I would politely smile and socially I understood... but I still wanted to kick them in the shin. (sorry if you are someone who once said this to me!) Afterall... I was an autism "expert" (bullshit unless you have a child with Autism, but before I had one I thought I knew it all), and I had the "training" (again, bullshit) to handle this. I was so wrapped up in the sadness and desperation of it all that I was way to raw and bitter to see that maybe, just maybe these well meaning bastards knew what they were talking about. Now, almost two years later, I am beginning to understand. Avery may be lucky to have me as her mom because I will love, research, fight, sweat, bleed and cry for her in anyway I can.... but I am the really lucky one.
Like I said before.... we "get" the gift of having two very different, yet very challenging and even more rewarding kids. Our challenges may be different from yours, and seemingly simple things may be mountains to us... but we get to travel this road while being inspired by one very special, very disabled little girl. We get to reveal her unique gifts and unknown potential, and we can do so with smiles on our faces. Sure, sometimes I still have moments of "WHY AVERY??!!" but those moments are less and less, and while I know life may not be as "easy" for us, I can sit back and relish in the fact that my adorable daughter has had an impact beyond measure... not only on my heart, but on many. I have no doubt that her impact will continue to ricochet as her precious life continues.