...about the twists and turns of life, and how seemingly random occurrences can have such a long-lasting impact? Maybe it's just me, I'm weird and I think about these kind of things.
You know the stuff I mean, the ways in which certain people pass through your life, and end up becoming big parts of it. If you'd never met them, if you'd not gone to that party or chosen a different college or driven down a different street (literally), your whole existence might be different today. Not necessarily bad or good, just different.
I think these kinds of thoughts maybe occur more often for parents like me.....parents of preemies, of special needs kids, of challenging parenting situations, etc. It's easy, sometimes, to wallow in the worries and the fears and the self-talk of "but if I'd only...." or "if I just had not done....". You can beat yourself to a bloody emotional pulp doing that, trust me. But it doesn't change the reality of daily life, doesn't make things easier to deal with along the way......in fact, it might make it worse.
Even if I start my "what ifs" with the fact that the boys WERE preemies, don't even go back beyond that.....I can see how the entire path of my life has been forever altered by that fact. Practically every single move I've made since Aug. 2001 has been somehow influenced by this--career moves, where we live, where we send the kids to school, how I spend my days and nights, etc.
All the things that I knew absolutely ZIP about before that time, I now know intimately, things like what the NICU is, what Asperger's Syndrome means, how it feels to give your child medications (and I don't mean stuff like Tylenol). If you'd asked me what acronyms like these stood for, I probably couldn't have deciphered even one, but now........
Why don't you try it? It'll be a fun game!
As, Bs and Ds
...and that's just off of the top of my head. If I'm 100% completely honest with myself, I will admit that I didn't want this, didn't choose this road and often find myself wishing I wasn't on it. I never knew squat about IEPs and 504 plans in schools, and would have been just fine thank you very much not to have ever known about them. I would have been just fine to not ever see the inside of a therapist's office, or to have one see the inside of my house.
But thanks to a great friend, who blogs here, I'm taking another look today at the bright side of my life, the side in which I recognize how truly blessed I am to have these 2 amazing sons. 15 or 20 years ago, neither would have even survived their birth, probably, or would just have lasted a few hours or days. And just as I now can't imagine life without therapy and diagnosis and disability and struggle, I also can't imagine it without A and E, the lights of my life. When they smile, when they hug me, when they say "I love you, Mom", I know that I'd rather be on this road than on no road at all. Any day, any time, put the path in front of me and I'll follow it. Therapists? Bring 'em on. Behavior plans, medications? Where do I sign up? Because if that's what it takes to make the best life possible for my two little miracles, how can I do anything less?
Lord, I pray for strength, for perseverance, for patience and creativity, and the ability to care for and nurture these boys in the ways that are best for them. Amen.