Adventures in child rearing

When I was young and dreamed of being a mom, there are some things about parenting that never crossed my mind…

16-camera security systems recording the inside and outside of my home.

Meetings (long, contentious meetings) with a middle school principal.

Home health care.

Entire seasons of “I Love Lucy” with a giggling nine-year-old boy.

Therapy: behavioral, physical, occupational, …al, …al, …al.


Seriously endless mounds of laundry.

Princess of St. Patrick’s Day.

Part-time work.

More doctors than I can count.

Aerosol body spray. Lots and lots of aerosol body spray.

Dictated homework time.

First-Check at home drug test.

The drama of pimples, armpit hair, and pornography.

Feces on the bedroom floor of a 13-year-old.

The tenuous and sometimes lack of attachment with my son.

Continuing friendships with their former teachers.

Loving some of those teachers like sisters.

Spina Bifida.

Reactive Attachment Disorder.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Chiari II Malformation.

Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

Gross Motor Delays.

Conduct Disorder.


Absolute and utter determination to NEVER GIVE UP.


Even when it is hard. Even when it is difficult. Even when the BEST and MOST COMMON advice is to move on…



I didn’t expect to feel so strongly about it. I didn’t expect to be so willing to do JUST ABOUT ANYTHING to avoid respite or residential care. I didn’t expect to help my daughter into her wheelchair in order to preserve her knees. I didn’t expect to have a giant calendar of April on the wall so that Isaac could see that we’re ALL taking it one day at a time.

And I certainly didn’t expect to love them as much as I do. To BE IN LOVE WITH THEM as much as I am. And yet, knowing that they are on loan. Mine for a while. Not even really mine. Just here. With me. For a time. And that what I teach them, what they learn here, will impact them long after I’m gone. It will impact the generation they raise. And I didn’t think about that responsibility when we were putt-putt golfing the day we met our sons. Or the day Esther-Faith became our daughter.

Even now, I’ll take all of the “bad” stuff on that list, and I will teach them that it isn’t so much “bad” as it is an opportunity for growth. A chance to BECOME something, someone great. They can be what I see every time I look in their eyes. They do not have to be defined by their diagnoses. They alone will write their own biographies… one day at a time. One detention, one April, one hospitalization, one season. They will become who they become one moment at a time. And I will continue to go wherever parenting them leads me.

Two of my three enjoy some quality time

Two of my three enjoy some quality time

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