When you are a special needs parent days, and especially holidays, can blend into each other. Often, I mark time by the stretch between events to endure or get through. There are those times when you measure your time by the special days on a calendar that you prepare for (or hope to celebrate in some way). Then there are the days that you struggle to get from one hour to the next. However, my birthday seems to be one of those unfortunate days where the magic is lacking and the specialness of the day is that I made it through and have to mark another box on a demographics form.
Last week saw my birthday and Valentine's Day come and go. Pretty much just like that. Days on a calendar. Even my mom didn't send a card. Oh, I was wished a "happy" day but the sentiment seemed as hollow as the day seemed forgetful. My husband ordered a special cake and we ordered out since I really didn't feel like commemorating the anniversary of my existence with a trip to a restaurant where the kids can order from a picture menu. That gets old after the millionth visit. Yet, at the end of the day...it was just another box to mark on the calendar. Valentine's Day definitely lacked any romance or warm fuzzy feelings of love unless you count watching my youngest be completely overwhelmed by his class party as he sat watching everyone else with wide eyes.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting the world or even a parade. But damn it...don't we deserve one day a year to feel special? It's not like I even get Mother's Day. Hallmark doesn't make a special line of greeting cards for us special parents. And the syrupy hollow sentiments in the others can leave you upset that your corner of the world isn't perfect. I keep saying "it is what it is"--but some days are just harder to swallow without a mega dose of artificial sweetener to coax the bitterness down.
Ok, so I sound a little petty and shallow as I look back on this. I'm not asking for a parade. I realize in the grand scheme of things I am considered to be no one special by anyone. I am not making a difference in the world or changing things for the better. I haven't figured out how to cure anything or have created a new therapy that will make life easier for the next set of families who will follow in my shoes. My day was just another in a long line of of endless days that flow into each other until they will stop and I won't have to worry about marking another box again. Same old same old.
Except, shouldn't we have a moment--or gasp, a day-- to recharge and feel like we matter? We are doing impossible things with very little accolades and acknowledgement. We are raising special children who are special not just because the world sees them differently--but because they are important and have meaning for who they are. We respect our children and demand that others do as well. Yes, sometimes we have to do that while reciting regulations like bible verses and controlling urges to go "grizzly" on some less-than-cooperative individual (whoever that may be at the time). Our mundane days are really quite special, quite impressive. We are setting a stage for those who will come in our wake just as we have followed those who formerly blazed trails for their children.
Doesn't that deserve recognition? Doesn't that deserve a parade. Hell, doesn't that merit something more than just a red "X" on the calendar at the end of the day? Maybe next year. I guess I'll go finish that last piece of ice cream cake and pretend it symbolizes more than just the fact that I'm another year older and another year closer to when my boys won't have me to keep track of the days in their calendars. I hope by then, they have someone who will continue to make their birthdays as special as possible so they don't think they are just days on a calendar.
I hope things get better!!! Happy happy birthday! Happy Valentine's Day!!! happy every day!!!ReplyDelete
As Barry Stone said, "It's all in your attitude!"
Everyone deserves a special day! Sounds like you're feeling a little burned out right now-- hope things are better soon. Why don't you create a special day for yourself? Declare it a Mom Day, get your husband to watch the kids and go out for a trip to the spa, lunch with a friend or two, or just do something you know you'll really enjoy. That way you have a chance to recharge your batteries.ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday! You ARE very special. And although the battle you fight every day for your children, feels like a lonely one...you are not alone. Your efforts, your words, your spirit are part of an invisible collective that IS making a difference, albeit a slow one! So dust yourself off fellow comrade and get out of the trenches for a while if you can. A weekend away if possible? And remember your contributions here are valued and appreciated as are you!ReplyDelete
This is a great posting that shows your true emotion. There are so many blogs nowadays that are not fully honest with their readers. I agree with Connors Mom that you may want to try a day to escape for a bit. This special needs blog and this posting in particular is very well written. I will continue to read this blog with emotion filled postings such as this one.ReplyDelete
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Very important article!! Parents are the best honor person in the world. I love my parents very much. They are my whole lot. I want to create a special day on calendar for my parents. Thanks for your excellent post.ReplyDelete
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