Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Full circle

This past weekend our entire family took a nap on Saturday.  I am not talking just a quick 30 minute nap.  I mean everyone in our house slept between 3-4 hours, and it was much needed and much appreciated by Sam and myself.  Due to this nap, Sam and I decided we should do a dinner and movie night with the kids.  The movie choice was The Lion King, I think it might have been a little bit braisen for it being our first nighttime movie experience, but overall a success.

A general theme of The Lion King is "the circle of life".   It really is such a great concept, and it applies to so many situations throughout life.  If you really think about it, a lot of things we experience in life follow a circular trajectory.  It's the circular motion of tires that assist in the proper movement of a car.   It is the process of being born and cared for 100%, to becoming independent, and then ironically ending up in a similar fashion to being a newborn before we die.  It is the symbolic presentation of a solid round wedding band that represents a marriage.  It can be found in the general process of life's peaks and valleys.

With the birth of a child you start on a circular journey.  Your happiest moments begin at his/her birth and then a multitude of emotions can set in.  Challenges ensue in parenting in general, regardless of whether or not you are on a "special needs" course.  In order to feel the lows, you have to know what it is like to feel the supreme highs.  It is all necessary to complete the circle.

We have decided to put Sonya in the swim class that follows with her age, so she is now in a class with typically developing 6-17 month old kiddos.  I won't lie and say that during our class I am not choking back the tears; because to be honest, the difficulty of seeing a typically developing child right in front of my face can be a bit hard to cope with.  It is during this time that I am smacked with the reality of what Sonya is not doing.  It is during this time that it's hard to not think about what Sonya would be doing had she not been born with a mutated CDKL5 gene.

At the same time in this class we are blessed to have a coach who is also part of the "special needs" world; our new world.  She happens to have a daughter who is not "typically developing".  Luck would have it, for me, that she has been in my shoes.  I was able to ask her last week how long it took for her to be able to be "okay" with seeing other same aged peers as her daughter doing more typical things and not get choked up.  I had a feeling her answer would be similar to what it was...that even after many years, she isn't always "okay".  She still has her moments.  She focuses on the amazing milestones her daughter has achieved and it makes achieving new milestones all the sweeter to enjoy.  It makes watching her other children's achievements that much more amazing.  

In my limited exposure to this new "new", I can relate to her words.  It is a constant state of up and down.  In order to experience the thrill of Sonya mastering a new task, I have to acknowledge the sadness of the skills that are more of a challenge.  In order to appreciate what she can do, I have to accept there are things she can't.  It is all part of the circle.

The thing about a circle is that because it's round it is in a constant state of motion.  It is always moving and therefore it keeps going.  I am trying every day to understand that in order to be thrilled with the good, part of this same journey is allowing myself to be okay with the less desirable outcomes.  Everything in the end comes full circle.  The best part of a circle...it always keeps turning.