Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Mantra: Personal Experience Part 3

Our new mantra has become: "Now we know why..."

1. Our kid has been a great sleeper since birth, nothing wakes him up. Phone calls, doorbells, vacuum cleaners, thunderstorms, tornado sirens... now we know why. (And here we just thought we were really great at this parenting thing).
2. He only had two volumes, loud and louder... now we know why. (Much to our embarrassment while sitting in the middle of church).
3. He loves loud music with a good strong beat... now we know why.
4. He wouldn't open closed doors, even though he was tall enough and knew how, unless we were behind him instructing him to open the door, he wouldn't do it... now we know why. (Turns out most children won't open doors if they can't hear what's behind the door).
5. He never babbled (not like his sister does), he just screamed (see #2)... now we know why.
6. The few words he did start speaking were mainly made up of vowels, because that is what he could here (for example a dog barking wasn't "Ruff" it was "uuu, uuu")... now we know why

We have found humor in the situation as well. For example, I told my husband the other day that when our son is school age and the students ask him what is in his ear he can say that it is an earpiece for the government and he is actually a secret agent, and then pretend to get a secret message and run away. We've also realized that when he is a teenager he can take out his hearing aids and pretend that he can't hear us when we say something he doesn't like.

The days go on and things are getting better. Like any big change your in life, it just takes some adjusting to, but the fact is you do adjust. When I first started writing this little series of mine, I intended it to be a one-article story. However, as I started writing I found I had more to say than just "here's what happened." It has been very therapeutic for me and I thank all of you who have read it through and supported me with your comments. My intention in writing this was to let everyone know you are not alone out there. Raising children is hard and things don't go exactly as planned. For whatever reason we seem to convince ourselves that this time life will do as we tell it to, but the Lord kindly reminds us that He is in charge. In part 1 a reader shared a link for the following story, I will end my comments here, but for anyone who is interested please continue reading. It spoke to my heart, and I can't wait to see what Holland holds for me.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the story, it's been good to re-read it, it's been a while.

    The funny thing is I think, really, all of our children are like Holland in their own ways. Really, I don't think anyone gets to Italy...some of them just pretend to. Like Ms. Kingsley says, the joy is found in embracing your new destination, in whatever form it might take.

    I'm glad you're getting to the point of acceptance and embracing, Aub. (((hugs)))