Sweet 2016… where the hell did ’15 run off to already? A year ago I was just four short months into this journey that would fill my cup. Still in the phase of wait…. what?! “Special Needs”??? Nah, can’t be.
I’m a different person now. Dare I say I’ve grown as much as my son has in 12 months. But I’ve got a far way to go. Nothing will show you your faults quite like a kid. In year’s past I’ve made resolutions to lose weight, handle my money more responsibly, wine only on the weekends… ha! But the ones I’ve chosen this year might be even more difficult. But so critical to this new and different life I lead.
Connect. Andrew and I don’t have any real friends in the DS community. Pace has never met another kiddo like him. That’s all on us. Truthfully, for a long time I was scared. It was too much for me to quite literally face. But the older he gets, the more I want that comfort in community for all of us. I find myself searching on social media for other young families and I smile and giggle and tear up at their pictures and videos. Walking at two, signing words and recognizing those same mannerisms I adore in Pace… it brings me peace now where it did the very opposite before. And in fact, being the only mom you know in your general situation of parenting alongside a team of coaches, doctors, onlookers, etc… it can be lonely. I wasn’t ready last year but 2016 is the year for friends with extra chromosomes!
Don’t let my kid’s schedule be an excuse for mine. Pace is a busy kid. Not a week goes by without a few therapy sessions and at least a doctor’s appointment or two. Just when I think things might be calming down we get a few more things thrown on our to-do list. This month alone we’ll have four speech therapy sessions, two visits from our Occupational Therapist and one visit with our Physical Therapist. Plus an eye doctor appointment, a visit to the Endocrinologist, and two visits with a podiatrist to get fit for his braces. I think I have a haircut, a dentist appointment and a full time job in there somewhere… For a long time I did well managing all of that AND my own stuff too but earlier this fall I quickly let ME slide off the radar. I got in the mindset that I was too busy for workouts, too busy to write, too busy for the things that kept me sane. Who needs sanity, is what I always say… And then at the very same time I began to feel more stress and anxiety. I had a one track mind and it was Pace. What he had next, what we needed to be working on, what we might hear at the next appointment. Not this year. I love that little boy more than life but I’ve come to realize that taking care of me is just as important when it comes to being my best self for him.
Get ready for this one because it’s going to rock your world. It did mine.. Stop comparing your life to the picture you had in your head. YES. RIGHT?! I saw this a few weeks ago somewhere and stopped dead in the hallway of my office building to read it five more times. I don’t think it’s left my head since. No, I did not expect this chapter of my life would come with so many extra things to do and see and talk about. When I’m signing with Pace or chasing him around still on hands and knees, I’ll catch myself thinking, ‘not what I pictured’… But what the hell was I picturing anyway? I can’t even remember now. Whatever it was, it just doesn’t matter. The life in front of me is the life I’d pick over and over because I cannot image a life without Pace in it.
This probably speaks to most people about something or other. Who cares what we thought our life would be ‘when we grew up’. When does that ever happen? And what good does it do? I’ve heard, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. A tough lesson but a big one. A good one.
Happy New Year to you and yours! May sweet ’16 bring you new friends, a little ‘you-time’ and the comfort knowing your life as it is, is perfectly enough.