Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Second Thought

When Elijah accomplishes something new, my first thought is overwhelming joy. My second thought is usually full of fear and grief.

When Elijah crawled, I was on cloud nine for about a week…and then I started to wonder if he'd ever be able to walk. Elijah's first steps were so amazing. I was beyond thrilled. I knew how miraculous his steps were. My second thought was, "Will he ever learn how to read?" It's kind of irrational, isn't it?

Recently, Elijah learned how to play peek-a-boo with a wash cloth. It's so incredibly cute and so exciting to see him interacting with us in this way (I hope to post a video of it soon). But, my second thought was, "A six month old can do this."

I'm actually ashamed to admit these second thoughts, but I think it's important to share. The highs and lows of parenting a child with special needs are intense. When you don't know what your child will be able to accomplish, each and every obstacle they overcome is thrilling and amazing. But, there is also a deep sadness – a grief over what they should be doing.

We, of course, love and accept Elijah for who he is. But, like all parents, we will continue to push him to be his best self. I hope someday my second thoughts won't be thoughts of fear over the abyss that lies ahead, but instead – something like, "Hmm, I wonder what I'm going to make for dinner." I hope at some point I can embrace my joy without having it wrapped up in grief. Somehow, I'm not sure if that is possible. But, then again, my second thought is that anything is possible.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lisa, As a Grandmom I can say that your children are always a part of you. That is something you never lose. When they hurt, you hurt. Being the mother of a child with special needs brings more worries because of the unknown future - as you said. You and Andy are doing a wonderful job of parenting Elijah. AND Elijah is a very determined young man. We are all here to encourage and help as we can. Love you, Mom

Ellen said...

Oh, Lisa. I know JUST how you are feeling, because that is exactly how I felt with all of Max's accomplishments in the early years. Bittersweet, they often were. And not the least bit irrational; how can you not always look to the future when you have a child who's got a black developmental cloud hanging over his head? BUT, here's the thing, and this I promise you: you will stop feeling this way. As Elijah continues to grow and do more and more, you will stop grieving and instead just appreciate, and accept. I promise. Elijah very much reminds me of Max--his brightness, his determination. Oh, and yeah, the cuteness!

Lisa said...

Thanks mom, I love you!

And Ellen, you made me cry...in a good way of course. I know you know how I feel - which means a lot. You and Max are an inspiration to me.

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