You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.

This week I’ve had a new attitude and view on parenting a child with Sensory Processing Disorder. I have felt like I’ve got this, more than I ever have and I am loving it! Because most of these 6 years I have felt defeated.

This morning though was a struggle. First of all, I woke up late. So we were in a little bit of a rush. Then, it happened. We couldn’t find her watch, which is a super important security item for her to wear while she’s at school.

And, I could find only one beloved shoe. Now, if you follow me on Facebook you know that we have a lot of issues in our house with feet things. This spring was so tough, she was wearing at least 5 pairs of sock on each foot and stuffing them into her shoe. I know ridiculous, but I am against her wearing small shoes but somehow it doesn’t bother me if she wears a million socks and stuffs her foot in her shoe. Well, it was so bad that those socks just weren’t working anymore. She wasn’t getting the feeling she needed. So I took her shoe shopping. In hopes that she would find a shoe she absolutely loved. And she did. It’s rainbow and it’s Sketchers (thank you, Sketchers for all the marketing you do that told my child she needed this shoe, it actually worked in my favor!)! So she fell in love with this shoe and I told her this was a one sock shoe. We purchased it in her current size, unlike what you normally do with at least a thumb space for growth. Yup, no room for growth in these, babies. Totally, solved the feet issue for the most part…

So, this morning I couldn’t find her shoe.

Usually, I’m pretty on top of beloved items so we don’t have this happen. But yesterday, yesterday, was indescribable. So this is just another part of the aftermath.

Now this isn’t supposed to really be so much about shoes. What I wanted to tell you about was how my realization this week has really helped me be able to cope with her meltdowns. You see, when I know that there’s only so much I can do and I do my part, I’m more ok with her difficulties. Which has been really great.

But what happens so often is that like this morning, after the watch, the shoes and the rush is that I was spent. I was ok at that point. We got to school, pulled up in the drop off lane, it was too late for the flag person so I was nervous about her walking in. She did ok, until she looks back to wave, walks, looks back to wave and then trips over the curb.

Now, I know that happens to kids, but with my kid, it always happens. For most of the time, she doesn’t watch where she is going, she doesn’t pay attention to her surroundings, she is unaware of things around her, and she often falls down. And that’s when my heart broke just a little more again.

You see, I’m trying to be strong.  I’m trying to separate myself and have less of the disorder be an extension of my parenting. But my heart breaks for my child. And that is hard to shake. There’s nothing stronger than how much I absolutely love her. And that’s why it’s hard to carry the weight of all of the challenges that she faces daily.

So in the middle of all this, I’ve learned to choose to be strong. I don’t want to be drowning in the weight of parenting a challenging child. I don’t want to be defeated. This is way more than I can handle, but I can do it. I’ve made through 6 years of challenges worse than I could have ever imagined. I must be stronger than I think.

Choosing to be strong is all I have left.

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