There are lot of things we worry about as parents everyday… when you have a child with a difference or special needs, there are other things beyond the usual suspects that wrack our brains, pull on our heart strings and force us into some sort of judgement about ourselves that we don’t deserve, but can’t help but endure. Then there are those things about our child’s difference that make us joyful.
I have a friend with a young son who is autistic. He doesn’t like to be hugged or make eye contact, he will touch fingers with you but not shake your hand or give you a high-five… but he can play almost any piece on the piano if he has the music in front of him, without practice, perfectly. On the days when everything seems to be falling apart, my friend points to the grand piano she got at an estate sale 4 years ago, and her son plays her soul into a calm state. We don’t get to talk much- she is in Arizona with 3 kids- but when I see a picture that she (rarely) posts, it brings me so much joy to see what the lens captures. Her kids in the sand, playing at the zoo, first days of school, last days of summer, and solo concerts from her only musical child, consisting of everything from Billy Joel to Bach.
In fact she just posted one of the pics yesterday. It made me think… even though I have a few hard days, there are A LOT of things that bring me back to center… and most of them are not Earth-shattering, they’re the little things that can go overlooked if I don’t slow down a bit and take them in.
On the days where I cannot seem to get a hold of anyone to explain a bill, or what a certain test revealed, they seem endless and unrewarding- except for the child I perform these tasks for… but most days, I feel so blessed to have such a joyful baby. Playgrounds are still not the best thing for us: skinned knees on wood chips that are, sadly, not edible, and the lack of small toys makes most trips, truthfully, not fun. Most “play zones” are geared to younger kids who don’t have many motor skills, or older kids who do… not the older kids who just don’t have it, yet- Addie gets frustrated and trampled, so we stay away from those places, too. We play in parks, in the grass with toys. We climb over rolling hills and make our way to random swing sets. And, one of the neatest things I’ve experienced as a mom so far: we do all of these things in last year’s wardrobe.
Some days are really hard- no matter who your child is- and it’s nice to remember it’s the trivial things in life that can bring us the most happiness, the biggest belly laughs and the deepest sighs of relief. When I can’t see much through the clouds in my head, I can see this: Addie is growing, making leaps and bounds, and showing us all: She is fierce (and adorable)!