Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Real Deal

This IS the real deal.....the deal that is called life in our house. We have 2 amazing kids. Both of them are adorable, smart, funny, and can be crazy. They both have feelings, and they are both OUR children. My husband and I have a fierce love for them....just like most parents have.

Here is the deal...I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Some of you may have insight to this "secret" because you also live it day in and day out...but here it goes...are you ready?? We have just as much of a sense of protectiveness and unconditional love for Emma as we do for Owen. Her special needs are really a part of who she is, but she has the same respect from us that her brother does...and that love and respect will continue throughout their lives.

My heart tells me that everyone looks at my children in the same way. They are both unique creations...created perfectly...exactly the way that they were intended to be. My problem is that my head tells me that everyone does not look at my children with the same amount of dignity. I feel that when certain people are around Emma she makes them uncomfortable, and that makes me sad. When those individuals cannot step outside of the box and see the beauty that encompasses her far surpasses any unusual actions that she might display....I feel that injustice has been done. The Mama in me wants to lash out at the person that is glaring at her for her atypical actions, instead I go about my usual routine with a burning inside of me that doesn't know what to do.

If you know of a parent of a child of special needs, and you are looking for ways to help them...here are some ideas that I would like to share with you:
1) Look at my child when you are talking to her

2) Attempt to understand my child's actions (I know that Emma is going through a stage where she hits and pushes...if I had a magic medication to take away that one thing that Emma does....I would pay a lot of money for it. However, there is NOT a "magic cure", I AM disciplining her, but I also know that she is TRYING to tell me something and I'm having a tough time figuring it out.) So, instead of looking down your nose at me and my child...how about if you try to help me understand and TRY not to make me feel like my child is just being "A BRAT" by displaying actions that you do not feel are age appropriate!

3) If my child seems out of hand please do not glare at her or give me the look that says I should take care of her. Until you have had 5 years with her...every day trying desperately to "figure her out" you have no idea what I am going through or what I need to do with her. Just understand that she is having a moment and I am dealing with it. It will get better, but I do not want to be made to feel that my parenting styles are insufficient or that you have all of the answers. Trust me when I say that you don't:).

I know that these "suggestions" may sound whiney, and I am only one of many parents that have a child with special needs. I understand that we don't all feel the same way. But, this is the way that I AM feeling. So, I guess what I am asking is if you are someone who deals with me and Emma....please think about the things you say about her. She IS my child, and I love her just like you love your children....unconditionally!!! I always will!!

I saw a great quote today....never make a negative comment about someone's dog, their child, or their golf swing. I think I will add that to my list of life mottos:).


Jacqui said...

Very well explained.People who haven't walked in our shoes don't always understand - so sometimes it is helpful for all involved to get really practical in one's explanation. Hope you see more empathy and understand from those others in Emma's life.

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

Ddint sound whiney at all! I hope people read this and take it to heart!

Cindy said...

Very well said, Angie. Emma is blessed to have you as a mom! And Emma blesses everyone she knows.

I give people who don't have "access" to a special needs kid a lot of leniency in how they view Natalie...because I know how I was before I had Natalie, and I didn't know any special needs kids. But those who know Natalie are required to treat her with dignity, or they don't get to know her--or the rest of our family--in the future.

Terri H-E said...

I am grinning from ear to ear in solidarity, sister. And hoping readers of Farmer John follow the link to the Real Deal.

You're free!