I’m not that fun Mom who wears a Dora shirt to Walmart

I’ve never been the kind of parent who can readily download a “childlike sense of wonder”, even when parenting small children. I can handle being mildly playful, but tend more towards the teaching type of play with kids. However, I did happen to marry one of those “fun dads.”
So a few years ago, when it came time to pursue discovering what was different about one of our daughters, I plunged in headfirst. Having worked in mental health services in the past (and having had about two years of child development courses in college), I was the natural go-to in our marriage for the UN-fun part of this venture. Handling the doctor’s appointments, finding a therapist (and then finding a new therapist when I discovered the first one wasn’t prepared to handle the finer distinctions of our daughter’s problem behaviors), translating the results of various medical tests (including an EEG that came back abnormal); the medical part of me kicked in and the mom part took a back seat.
It took a lot of self-discipline to see when I had wandered away from treating my kid as my kid, and not a project. And even though that is true, this daughter has always been closest to me – that means, as a kid with an adjustment disorder, she gives me the lion share of the misbehavior, the tantrums, the lying, the emotionally distraught moments; it also means that I carry the bigger burden of keeping her centered, giving myself a time out when things get overwhelming, and constantly reminding myself that God gave her to ME for a reason – that our blood connection and our relationship is PURPOSEFUL, not accidental, and that I’d better swim and not sink, no matter what morass I find ourselves in, day to day.
That means that I always have to be the bigger person.
It can be freakin’ exhausting.
It means that even when I want to give up/run away/change my name/find a new life-path
that I have to come back to myself and throw myself back into the adventure
of life
as a parent
of a special needs child.

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