Saturday, August 7, 2010

Being Special

While at BlogHer, I am re-posting some of my favorite old posts. This was originally posted on February 15th, 2010. I will be back with original content on August 10th.

After a few weeks of cyclical sickness (two kids to pass between plus two parents mean flu and colds last forever) I am finally having a normal morning where I sit down and drink my tea while the girls watch their shows. So it is time to post.

There have been a lot of posts circulating in my head these past few weeks. A funny one about the Alpha Mom brigade, one admitting to my own Alpha Mom tendencies when it comes to birthday parties, Posts sparked by a great wine night out with a new friend where we talked about work and what we would do differently next time is there ever was a next time (we both fear having twins again).

But I haven't been able to write those because there was this post waiting. It needed to be written but I could not bring myself to sit down, write it out, and hit submit. This is a blog about the dark side of parenting but I could not get honest and write about this.

I am the mother of special needs kids.

And I hate myself for even having trouble writing those words. I have referenced it before in this blog. Friends in "real life" know the girls have delays. But there is just something about writing the words down that make it seem very real. I am ashamed of myself for having to "come out" on this issue. I have always thought of myself as the open sort who doesn't care about differences. It turns out I just care when it is my own kids.

The thing is I don't want people to think differently of or prejudge the girls. I want them to be seen the way I see them. Would I love it if they were both intelligible? Yes. Hell I would settle for one; then she could translate. But though their quirks make life harder but they also make them, them. The kids I love.

The problem is my own. I can't let go of the image of what my children would be like, what motherhood would be like. I can't seem to accept that we are on a different path than the norm, even if that path is what leads us to "normal". All the research on preschool, all the activities, all the play dates seem worthless. All the worry over social groups and exposure to the arts and other modern parenting problems only kept me from what I should have been worrying about.

Of course I blame myself. When you sit through five hours of listening to every single thing that is wrong with your children, it is hard not to feel like The Worst Mother Ever. But all I can do now is buck up and face the fact that motherhood is loving your kids; not living up to an image. Loving them is easy, letting go of the image is the hard part. Writing this is a first step.

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