I’ve never had the kind of relationship with my Mom or either of my parents for that matter that I would have wanted. In fact, growing up I expected to not really talk to them in my adult life. However, things changed I ended up staying in closer physical proximity to them than I expected.
My parents were very excited when we announced that we were adopting. They supported us during our journey and were there to pick us up from the airport. There were days that were so bad during the toddler years that I would call my mom and ask her if she could take Miss Sensory for the next day, because I needed sleep. And I am so grateful that she was there.
But there’s a bigger, deeper part of parenting that I wish my parents were here for. Typical parenting (from what I hear) is pretty challenging, but parenting a special needs child we fight battles we never knew existed.
And one of those battles comes within our own families.
We fight for disorders that appear invisible to those we are related to.
We take each comment to heart. We stand up to those who are supposed to love us the most.
“She’s normal.” “That’s typical kid behavior.” “They’ll grow out of it.”
“You need more discipline.” “There’s nothing wrong with her.” “It’s Ok.”
These comments hit us deeper than anything anyone else says. Because our families are supposed to be the ones who support us the most and know us better than anyone else. But, that doesn’t always happen.
I wish I could sit with my parents and tell them how much I feel like a failure.
I wish I could tell them about our daughter’s new diagnosis and the treatment plan.
I wish I could tell them about the grief and the challenge of not thinking of her future.
Or comparing her development to another child her age.
We never get too old to need our parents. I still do.
Maybe someday, they will see.
That my child is different than other kids her age.
That I can’t discipline this out of her.
That her challenges aren’t quirks, or accidents, or her feelings getting hurt.
That I could have used their support along the way.
That I am amazing at this.
That this is not normal parenting…
Because she’s just not a typical kid.