Special needs mamas are warriors. We are thrown into a club that we didn’t necessarily ask to be a part of–and through grace and grit we find our footing in the world. Words like OT/PT, MRI, speech pathologist, orthotics, complex, rare, and a multitude of other phrases become your new language. You find yourself juggling an impossible number of tasks and keep waiting for it all to come crashing down around you.
This piece is a reminder to those mamas (and to the world) of your super powers. You got this.
We aren’t talking like Mrs. Incredible flexibility. But you are adaptive as hell.
You have the ability to roll with the punches. You can seamlessly move from one game plan to the next after a doctor throws a grenade on your perfectly laid out itinerary.
You can stop in the middle of your day to attend to your child’s unique circumstances and still hit the ground running.
Your middle name is “pivot” and you are able to do that flawlessly.
You improvise, adapt, and overcome on the daily.
You understand that life is all about change. Sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful.
But most of the time–it’s both.
Medial Power of Attorney. Check.
504 plan. Check.
Giant calendar/spread sheet/Google Doc with all of your child’s appointments, therapies, medications, medical history, and allergies?
Check and double check.
You live by a “list.”
The ability of your mind to remember surgery dates, medication dosage, do insulin to carb calculations, and not forget the name of your child’s dietician is insane. It’s all kept in the extremely organized file cabinet in your brain.
You understand with organization comes empowerment.
You are aggressively obsessed with joy.
Because you are all to familiar with it’s alter ego…..grief.
So you have the uncanny ability to find joy in all the things.
In the big things and the little things.
You can find small nuggets of joy in the every day moments because you know all to well how quickly your life can turn upside down.
You can bring your own joy.
You understand that it takes courage to open yourself up to joy when your world crashed down around you.
You understand that joy is an active choice each and every day.
You have the uncanny ability to find things to laugh about even in your darkest moments. I remember when Callie had her second open heart surgery, they gave her medicine to help her go to the bathroom post surgery. I looked over my shoulder at James who was carefully writing “Poo Meds” on the Styrofoam cup so that one of us wouldn’t accidently drink out of the cup with her meds in it.
I caught his eye and we literally laughed for 5 minutes straight. Tears rolling down our faces, holding our stomachs, and unable to catch our breath.
During one of the hardest times of our lives.
You know when you are able to find some humor, even if it’s a tiny little ray of fun, in a difficult situation–you win.
You understand that you are the only one with the power to pick yourself back up. Again and again. Only you have that power and responsibility.
You understand that you are always just one moment away–from a breath through, from finding the next successful treatment, from hitting the next bench mark. That’s why you keep going. Why you pick your self up, dust yourself off, and go again.
You understand that you might have to fight a battle more than once to win it. Sometimes you fight a ton of battles in a short time span.
Because you understand resilience isn’t just for surviving the worst days of your life, its for thriving every day of your perfectly imperfect life.
Because even though the world is full of pain, suffering, and heartbreak–it is also full of people overcoming it.