Wednesday, January 30, 2013

We were OK...

As the parents of a medically complex and special needs child, we hear a lot of interesting comments.  We are asked a lot of interesting questions.  We get a lot of interesting looks.  Most of what we get is related to this belief that we are somehow better parents or stronger parents.

"I don't know how you do it."

I get variations of this comment.  All. The. Time.  I vehemently disagree that we are somehow better people.  I was that person, though, a year and a half ago.  Every once in awhile I would catch a glimpse of a mom of a special needs child, and wonder how they were so happy.  I wondered how she managed to do everything that she did.  I wondered how she managed to keep it together.  Never in a million years did I think I would be thrown into this world, but now that I am here, I can't imagine being anywhere else. 

Point being, we were just normal, everyday parents, given a child who needed more.  I am certain that most parents, after holding a precious little baby that they spent months preparing for, would do just about anything to keep that baby safe, healthy, and happy.  I have written about this before - Ronan is absolutely perfect, exactly how he should be.  How he was intended to be.  Sometimes this is a difficult concept to describe to someone briefly peeking into our lives of hearing aids, glasses, therapy, and appointments. 

A few months ago a video started circulating the special needs boards called Extreme Parenting.  Parents of special needs children took photos of themselves with signs saying what they would have told themselves at the start to this journey.  I think it is a very honest look into the transformation of a parent into a special needs parent. 

I remember those early weeks and months when we seemingly always got bad news, and I remember how Paul and I would motivate ourselves and keep ourselves sane.  I remember us telling one another that, "We can do this.  We were born for this.  We have the support and means to care for Ronan, and make his life the very best that we can.  And we will be OK." 

We made that transformation, and came out happy.  Sure, there are hard days.  There are incredibly hard days when all I want to do is curl up in bed with the sheets over my head.  But we are happier, stronger, and more joyful with life than we ever were before.  And without anything further, here is Extreme Parenting...

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