I just spent the morning dipping Oreos for teachers and helpers, which is apparently now my signature teacher gift. (Can something be "signature" after only two times?) It got me thinking back to last year's post, which is still completely relevant for my frame of mind today.
I'm getting used to this ambiguity. Often special needs parenting (and living in general, as you all insightfully point out) is about learning to thrive in that in-between feeling—being clear about what you want, having faith that you'll get there, but not being attached to getting there. It's like floating. I let go of the shore, on my back looking up at the sky, not getting too caught up going in any particular direction, occasionally paddling my feet to steer me in the generally right way, but not so much that I get a cramp. Just being. Just floating. Just appreciating being wet.
Becoming a leader can feel intimidating. It requires new skills and courage at every step. It can be helpful to notice that leaders aren’t “born with it,” but are called to it. We can learn these skills. If we’re lucky, we have support and friendships for companionship along the way.
Looking at one of the paintings, for one moment I am able get my arms around the fullness of my own parenting experience. The terror and the peace. The peace and the terror. It’s there, in oil on board, just right there in four square feet, inviting me to react, to feel it, to stay with it. So I do.
I am sometimes asked what it feels like to share so much personal information on this blog. After years of raising a child with special needs, I can honestly say that privacy is something I barely remember.
Researchers at Brigham Young University recently released findings that for people raising young children with disabilities, certain types of social relationships are typically more harmful and others more helpful for parents.