I See So Much More!
You See a Problem, I See So Much More!
The phone rings, it’s the teacher. You know it can’t be good, they don’t usually call with good news. Picking up the phone you try to prepare yourself. You know... take a deep breath, close your eyes, etc. You make a goal to not get upset and don’t cry.
“Hello!” You manage to sound happy and only slightly nervous.
The teacher then shares the days (maybe week events) and ends with, we have to talk. You try to listen, but you feel your heart beat a little faster, maybe your grip on the phone gets a little tighter. You close your eyes trying to keep listening. When it’s your turn to talk, a few different things could happen. You might get angry and speak your mind. You might fumble over your words, trying to find the right ones. Some of us might even get super quiet and not say anything.
Being honest, I used to do the first. I’d get angry and let my emotions get the best of me. Speaking my mind is putting it mildly. I mean let’s face it, when someone is telling us not so good things about our kids and we feel they aren’t being treated fairly, it’s not easy to remain calm. After many years (and phone calls) I now do my best to remain calm. But it never fails, when the conversation ends and I set the phone down, many times there’s that sinking feeling.
Do you know the feeling I’m talking about? It’s hard to put into words. Behind the anger is sometimes this feeling of failure, “I should be able to do more. I’m Mom after all, aren’t I supposed to have all the answers?” It’s a feeling of frustration, stuck, and sometimes “will anyone understand my child the way I do?” “How do I help them understand?”
I wish others could see her smile the way I do. Have they noticed how her eyes sparkle when her smile gets really big? When she sings to loud, I wish they knew how much I prayed to hear that voice when she was younger. That dance she does when she’s supposed to be sitting, well, I remember when she wouldn’t dance and she just sat in a corner. You see some of the things that are disruptions at school or in therapy, just might be the things us parents have prayed to be able to see our kids do.
Being a parent of a special needs child isn’t easy. Watching our kids struggle with some of the simplest things can weigh heavy on our heart. We never stop trying to help others see the life, the potential and the incredible people our kids are. Sometimes it’s exhausting and frankly sometimes I just don’t want to educate anymore, I just want to live. To live our life, with my child with special needs in a way that we understand and fits our family, but without failure, I will always step back up and keep advocating for her.
I guess if I could ask for anything for our kids with special needs, it’d be that everyone would see them the way us parents do. Teachers, therapists the next time a child is talking too much, isn’t listening and is dancing instead of setting, please remember they may have a parent that wished for years to hear that voice or to see that dance. Parents keep the hope alive, set goals and when your child reaches them celebrate! Dance and sing loudly with them.