Thank You

I have been dealing with a bit of writers block lately. I have things to say, but I struggle with putting words to the thoughts and struggles in my head. Maybe it’s because, for the past week, I’ve been basically in bed, sick. Not deathly ill but, feverish and fatigued enough to only want to lay around (which is so not me!).

I’m a busy person. I don’t feel complete or get a sense of satisfaction from sitting around. Even my “slow” days are busy. I get up and start with the morning rush to help my hubs and get one kiddo off to school with lunch in hand because he will only take one specific thing for lunch every single day! Then I come home to spend the rest of my morning homeschooling my other kiddo. He has classes four days a week at the public school so, I’m running him around to classes or therapy. Then there are the standard doctors’ appointments and errands and household chores and so on. It’s not a big deal but it keeps me busy. I usually like to add something to my day like baking or doing something crafty, or something else that I enjoy so that it’s a fun day too.

So, to spend the past few days in bed was torture. Except it wasn’t. It was also wonderful. My hubs took over fully. He dealt with all things parenting-related, house-related and even brought me food and things I needed so I could stay in bed. It was almost a mini-vacation. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t go that far but, I got a good amount of rest that I desperately needed.

During that time, I watched TV, played games and surfed the Internet. Not all that exciting, except that I found another blog that I got caught up reading and, I really enjoy this mom’s thoughts. One particular post that she wrote in December 2014 struck me as similar to my thoughts, in many ways. She wrote about the struggles parents of quirky kids have regarding needing to lean on therapists. We do need them and, it takes a lot to give yourself over to their expertise. Our kids don’t fit the mold. The internal training-manual we find when we become parents becomes irrelevant if our kids are quirky. We are out of our element, over our heads, and have no clue how to deal with the challenges we face. So, we turn to these people who have been trained to work with our kids. They usually have experience in working with similar situations and we do what they tell us. We try their suggestions. We are at their mercy, so to speak.

I reached out to this blogger and, with her permission, I want to share some of her thoughts with you. In her post, Rebecca Masterson of Sincerely Becca, wrote the following, and it really resonated with me:

I know you went through a lot of training for this job. Some of you have advanced degrees and letters after your names. You speak in acronyms, take data, and analyze my son’s behaviors. You are competent and knowledgeable and educated. You are able to develop lesson plans, implement them in effective ways, and move my son from skill to skill. You are really good at your job.

But I wonder if you know what it’s like to be me. I wonder if you have given any thought to what it is like to parent these children you work with every day.

I’ll tell you that as a parent, it is tough to get your head around the fact that you have a child you can’t help. We special needs parents are forced to rely on others to provide the tools our kids need to reach their potential. “Here. I am handing over my heart and my soul, my absolute everything. I don’t even understand exactly what it is you do, but please make it your best. Please help my child.” It’s debilitating, really. You can help my son and I can’t. I wonder if you understand the importance, the weight of this.

I wonder if you know how much of a toll this takes. Did they happen to mention the tremendous strain we parents are under in all that training? We’re fragile. We’re scared. We’re struggling. We’re hopeful. We’re grateful. We’re really, really tired…

…I wonder if you know that placing this responsibility in someone else’s hands is terrifying. You are tasked with seeing my child’s potential, and reaching through thorns and brambles, through cuts and scratches, and bringing all that potential to the surface. You are tasked with nothing less than changing my son’s life. This might be the most important thing you ever do.

These words are my thoughts and feelings in written form. It is so scary to be at the end of your rope and need someone else to tell you what to do. It’s not natural. There is so much less of “going with your gut” in this kind of parenting. We are fortunate to have amazing therapists that have helped E tremendously in a relatively short time. Tips, trick, medications, parenting issues, you name it, they’ve been there and we will continue to lean on them in the years to come as E grows and changes. So, yes, my dear therapists, counselors and school staff who have contributed along the path that we are on, it is scary for us parents, and we are so tired. You have been such a help and, in our eyes, the work you do with our kids is the most important thing you will ever do. And we thank you for it.

Thank you, Rebecca for allowing me to share your story, thoughts and posts. To read more by Rebecca, visit Simply Becca, and enjoy.

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Categories Autism, Parenting

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