Thursday, October 6, 2011

It Will Always Be Hard

What I’m learning about raising a special needs child is that it will always be hard. Nothing is easy. You never truly “get used to it.” There will always be little reminders popping up of life in Italy.

This is especially evident right now as Abby approaches her first birthday. 12 months is just about the time when babies start walking, and they have certainly been crawling for several months by now….right?

Well, typically, yes. But Abby isn’t a typically developing child. And usually, I am pretty good at keeping my eye on the prize, as it were, and focusing on how Abby is progressing as an individual. Milestone charts and developmental checklists don’t really apply to her. She is not at all interested in crawling, but the standing is getting better—slowly, but surely. When I focus on her growth, I’m fine.

The problem is that Abby isn’t the only 12 month old in the world. I have friends and family members with babies who are very close to the same age, and that is just plain hard. It’s no one’s fault and I’m not upset with any of them at all. They can’t control their own child’s development anymore than I can control Abby’s. It’s just an unfortunate realization that this “stuff” is never going to go away. I’ll always have to deal with people comparing her to other babies, and that hurts. I will constantly be reminded of life in Italy, while I’m hanging out in Holland…as beautiful as it is.

Yes, it will always be hard. But we can do hard. We’ve been doing hard. And as I look back on the last year, I dare say that life seems to have gotten a bit easier! I’d better not say that… :)

I know this post isn’t all sunshine and roses today. Honestly, Tuesday was a tough day for me, and I may or may not have broken down in front of Abby’s physical therapist… :) But I also know that this is a constant learning process and I need to allow myself to feel this way from time to time. Thank you for allowing me to be transparent with you without judgement.  Like Welcome to Holland says, not having the life you thought you were going to have is a very real and deep loss that never goes away. But I am going to continue to try to focus on the beauty of Holland and not pine away for Italy.

I might even plant some tulips at our house. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you, Julie. And I'll bet the p.t. has seen lots of breakdowns in her day! :)
Jamie Trickle