The Person I Was Meant To Be

Do you think parenting a child with a disability has changed you? Small changes or big changes?

I believe I would be less patient. I would not be as assertive. I don’t believe I would find enjoyment in the smallest of things this world has to offer – real enjoyment, I mean – where I would take the time to notice every detail of the hummingbird in my back yard, for example. I would think “Oh, a hummingbird, and then turn my attention to something else. In fact, now I seek out the details and the beauty that can be found all around me. Ashley has taught me that.

My political affiliation would be completely different. I would probably be uncomfortable with people of different abilities and not able to see the worth of everyone that didn’t fit the same mold from which I was raised. I might be one of the parents I see and hear in my children’s schools who don’t understand why a child with different abilities needs to be in “my” child’s classroom.

I wouldn’t understand that people can communicate without ever saying a word. I would have time to exercise and take care of myself, and I might have been able to take the gourmet cooking class I wanted to take. I might never have worn pink polka dotted ribbons in my tennis shoes.

I definitely wouldn’t know that camellias and pansies are edible and what they taste like. I probably would never have heard of a nebulizer or a G-tube. I would sleep at night – all night – without getting up to see if my children were still breathing. And, I would never have met the hundreds of very special adults and children that I now consider my friends.

Yes, my life might have been easier. I might not have been as stressed or tired as I seem to almost always be these days. My life would, however, be like eating no-fat frozen vanilla yogurt instead of the Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby that I so enjoy.

I am grateful for every second of my life and everything good or not so good that it brings. I like the person I am today, and I’m not sure I could have said that had I not been the parent I am with the children I have.

What about you?

Deborah can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Sunday and Wednesday, and can also be found at Pipecleaner Dreams.

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