Archive for March, 2010

Change and adapt

Recently a friend of mine share a very interesting link titled “Ritalin, Prozac and other educative systems“. The comments recued the final sentence of this article: It’s easier to keep on with a routine, even though is painful, than to change and adapt oneself. Immediately I remembered something that the midwife of the neonatal unit told us, when Rocio was only a few weeks old: “She must adapt to your life, not the other way around”…

To me, at that moment, nurses, doctors and specialists known better, they were brilliant and I listened to them with all my attention. Back then I thought those words were very wise. However, I don’t remember having thinking in them ever again in this last five years, until now. I never again thought about the possibility that she was the one that to adapt herself to our lives.

How? Simple and obvious things like the house where we used to live and the car we had were not useful anymore. Others like the child care center just in front of our house didn’t accept her. Traditional schools don’t accept her. Traditional medicine hasn’t been a good choice either, at least to us. What I understood as healthy food wasn’t. A lot of the clothes that is sold don’t work for her, like coats, raincoats, girl shoes are impossible to wear for Rocio.
Neither were useful less tangible things like hopes, dreams and projects about my motherhood, how I was going to raise my children, dates, ideas, methods. I said children because before I sure wanted to have a few and one after another. Work planes were also changed. What I understood as “achievements” was redefined. The concepts of success and happiness also changed. Luckily also changed the few I knew about disability.
Was that a mistake? Should I have followed the midwife advice and let Rocío adapt to my life? Would that had been better for her? Would that had made her happier? Would I have shown more wisdom and maturity? Would that be real growth as a person? But… Would that adaption be possible? Wouldn’t it be denial?
Maybe I say this as personal defense, but I think this premise might be useful to many parents, but not to parents with children with special needs. Adaptation is a fundamental key, to forget our preconceived ideas. To learn and built again all what is needed. Maybe what it is hard to learn is when is it worth it to make the effort to “fit” in traditional structures and when the best benefit is out there.  The problem is that all that is not traditional is more work for us.
This is why probably my friends, also  mothers of  SN children,  emphasized that sentence “it’s easier to keep on with a routine, even though is painful, than to change and adapt oneself”. Sure  it’s easier, to change and adapt seems like a colossal work when we think all that involves changing and adapting.But it is easier when we don’t feel we are alone…

Maybe the keyl is to pick our battles. We can’t fight them all… Some things shouldn’t changed in order tokeep some sanity. We can accept some things as they are and adapt them just a little. Some things are easier to change, but others we must change them and adapt radically.  Even though it seems impossible, we’ll do it because it is our responsibility and we want to give the best to our children. We must change and adapt.

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Grateful

Picture of the two of us

Me and my daughter in a beautiful picture 🙂

Lately, in the blogosphere, several mothers of children with disability had reflected on the feelings that the disability of their children make them feel. It surprises me that most of them are still hurt by this, no matter if their child is little or big, or if he or she has a few or a lot of limitations, some say openly that their lives would be easier if their children would not be with them. They talk about abortion, euthanasia.
It stunts me a lot. I used to think that most of us, after a while, got over this that it was only a matter of respect everyone’s times in order to overcome the grief. However there are many factors and experiences that have an influence in each family…

My daughter was born five years ago and today her disability does not cause me any pain. I do not think everyday in her diagnosis, in her brain images, and I can not imagine my life without her. To me, her disability is a part of her and a part of us. I believe that I just overcame that stage of pain and anger when I understood that, that damage brain was nothing less that my daughter’s brain. Maybe it is not the one I would have wanted, but that was her brain. I no longer rejected it and started loving her 100%, no “despite” her disability, but with it. I love my daughter entirely, just as she is; to me she is perfect with all her imperfections. She is so wonderful and happy, and we are so happy with her.
Sometimes I think this is selfish of me. I think I should not like the way things are, because my daughter’s life would be easier if she didn’t have disabilities. But this are just suppositions, the truth is that I do not know how her life, and ours, would have been if she would not have brain damage. I firmly believe that we would be less happy than we are today, that is why I consider this thinking selfish, but it is also possible that she is much happier that she would have been without her neurological damage, because today she has happy parents that adore her, unconditionally, without asking anything in return but her happiness.
We talk about “acceptance”, to accept that whatever happened just happened. To me this word is not enough, I am grateful for what happened because it gave me this marvelous present, in which I do not see, neither disability nor tragedy, I just see a happy daughter, the most beautiful, lovely, affectionate, hard worker, tolerant, smart, quiet, someone who has a lot of friends and a lot of love, a lot of joy and a wonderful smile. I only see how happy we are and all that we have learn and enjoy with her. I can only be grateful for each day that we have been able to enjoy our beautiful and lovely daughter.

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Earthquake in Chile

Yes, we live en Chile and YES, WE ARE OK!!!! Probably with some post traumatic stress, but me and my loved ones are alive and ok. What a shocking experience…

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