Sunday, July 8, 2012

Get in the Game

As I slid furiously through the dark tunnel screaming with glee, I could feel my four year old's hands gripping my legs tightly, we reached the open section of the water slide and I was still screaming. We reached the end of the slide with a sudden splash into the pool and an enormous sense of joy filled me.

"I wanna go again!" I hollered, my two typical boys were glad to oblige me. I felt as though they were enjoying my very rare sense of free spiritedness. You see most days I forget how fun it is to be a mother.

Tonight, my husband and my oldest son are off at the race car speedway. I'm here with the other boys, again. I wanted to go to the track. I'd gone last year and enjoyed myself throughly. The people watching, monster trucks so loud you can feel them in your chest, three specific kinds of stock cars racing in a quarter mile track and let's not forget the endless display of mullets. But I'm not there. I'm home. I just got my two little ones to bed and I'm sitting watching a NASCAR race on television. My mind's brewing with the unfairness of it all.

So often, under the guise of keeping my typical kids lives "normal" my husband takes them on trips to the beach, to the waterpark, to the race track, out of the boat for a day of tubing with their buddies, and the list goes on. I stay home with Dermot. Dermot cannot do most of the activities listed so it's decided that I stay with him. Sometimes I relish a few exclusive hours of alone time with Dermot, and sometimes I countdown how long until my husband gets back with my other boys so I can hear about the fun they've had.

But tonight, as I brewed all evening about how it's not fair that I'm the one who always has to stay home and my husband gets to go have fun, I thought about last night on the water slide. I thought about the joy I felt doing regular mom activities with my typical kids. I need more of that, I need to allow myself more joy. It's funny the sense of martyrdom I tend to have, I have signed myself up to be completely responsible for Dermot's companionship.

But what if I went to the race track? What if I went out on the boat? What if I was the one who took my other boys on these fabulous adventures? Maybe I'd be a more satisfied mother. Maybe I'd stop thinking I was the only one who should care for Dermot. Maybe my husband's perspective would change too. Dermot's almost six, I've been sitting on the sidelines far too long, I need to get in the game.

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Sue Sullivan is a mother of three beautiful boys. Two are typically developing and one has a rare mitochondrial disease. He is why I write. I'm on a 20+ year quest to be happy, joyous and free. She blogs at

1 comment:

  1. I think that most of us mothers tend to sit on the sidelines and take responsibility for our kids with special needs. We do need to take a stand and say "my turn". My son is now 13, so I am also comfortable with leaving him with a sitter and taking time out with my husband and other son.