There are some days where I wish I could snap my fingers and my child can tell me what is bothering her. Or days when I can write back to the speech therapist to try harder. Or days when I just want to go fetal. I am human and I love my child.
Preschool, overall, has been absolutely fantastic. Her speech has improved. Her ability to listen has improved. Even her eating has improved a tiny bit. Last week, she told me that it was really cold out. I didn’t ask her. She just broke a silent walk to her school to let me know it was cold. I cried like a baby when I got in the car. That was the best conversation I have ever had in my life so far.
The school is an amazing facility and everyone knows her name. The woman who serves 45 children lunch everyday sings to her as she is leaving. The woman who administers the school stops in to ask her how she is. Her para is an angel. And despite my own frustrations, the speech therapist is kind and top-notch. I have never heard my child say more original sentences in her life.
Her motor skills have begun to show improvement and her ability to make friends has come into being. I walked into school to pick her up last week and she was sitting there, her back to me, comforting a boy who was crying for his father. When her para asked if it made her sad that the boy was sad, she nodded yes. And she didn’t even notice I was standing there until the boy’s father walked in and relieved her. I have never been more proud of anyone or anything. She is growing so much and only two weeks has gone by. She even sleeps now, with the aid of melatonin. Her doctor prescribed it due to the fact that she has no internal clock. She has a schedule for school and everything. It felt impossible before; there were nights I would lay there until almost 2am sobbing quietly while she kicked the wall and laughed.
So why am I going fetal, or wanting to shake the speech therapist? Because, as I stated I am human, and I am also adjusting to life on the other side of starting school. I put her on a bus in the wee hours of the morning and start my day, just as she starts hers. I am trying so hard to become something more than what I am at home right now and already on day two of the bus, I have delved into one of my biggest personal projects to date. But we have traded some behaviors for others. Where we have excelled, we have also fallen behind.
Today I went through a 90 minute meltdown with her. She screams. She bangs her head. She tries even harder now to ask me why things are happening while they are happening because of all her speech therapy, but we aren’t there yet and she grows more and more frustrated with every ‘Why?’ question I ask that she can’t answer. I drove around, which I thought would help, but she screamed and hit her head on the car seat most of the time. There were moments where I yelled. When she bit me on the face and wrist, I cried. When she scratched my face, I begged, pleaded with her to tell me what’s wrong. And there were moments where I sat in silence, looking to the water in the cemetery praying for any sort of reprieve for her, any sort of calm that could wash over her. I can’t begin to describe how much it hurts me to see her like that. And it is all because of school.
It is simple, really, and they told me it would happen. Eventually the exhaustion and the new activities each day sink in and cause her more and more crankiness. And I am sure this goes for neurotypical children as well. But neurotypical children don’t throw themselves repeatedly into harm’s way. Neurotypical children can tell their parents why they are sad, even if it is, in toddler terms, something silly (you have seen the tantrum memes). This may sound like I am having a tantrum myself, but overall, as beautiful and rewarding as it is to me that my child is different, some days, like today, I wish I could take it all away for her and make her neurotypical. I wish I had a magick potion written in my grimoire that would make it stop. At the end of the day, I uphold the honorable truth that you can’t use these energies for an ends. You can’t cure anything or make anyone fall in love with you or wish harm on anyone. You can only keep pooling your own strength. And every single day I strive to be stronger.
The school teacher told me that it wears off. That eventually she will get less and less cranky as they fine tune her behaviors and have her participate in therapy. The school teacher also told me what a beautiful and wonderful child I have.
Why am I sharing this? Because, as I always say, I AM NOT ALONE. No one who is going through what I am going through will tell you that I am wrong. They may not want to share their own experiences but they certainly should never feel like they are wrong for thinking things are just too much. Like wanting to drop to the ground and curl into a ball until the screaming stops. But we can’t do that. And we shouldn’t. There is so much more beauty than pain in raising a child with disabilities. But no one should ever be told that they can’t feel the pain. It does not mean you are weak. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. It is that very humanity that you need to teach your children. That keeps them on a better path in life. That teaches them to channel their emotions. It is the lesson people seem to forget over and over again. It is the lesson that ends wars and intolerance. It is balance and it is a means for peace for all children to love themselves no matter their differences, flaws, etc.
Loki caused all sorts of mischief.
The Christian god drowned his own people.
Zeus was an adulterer.
Even Odin had to go on an entire quest for knowledge.
The gods are fallible.
The greatest source of our strength is our ability to forgive ourselves. And in sharing my pain and my journey, I grant myself that forgiveness.