Note: I wrote this blog shortly after being traumatized a bit. I want to post it still because it was a really honest reaction to what I was/am going through, and I want people in similar situations to know, you aren’t alone. But I wanted to add a note to let you all know I’m feeling better now.
This wasn’t the blog post I was going to write. Not even close. In the past month we’ve been on vacation, moved, gotten a dog, I’ve signed with a second publisher been to RWA…it’s been a huge thirty days. I was going to talk about change.
Now I’m going to talk about things not changing enough.
It’s especially ironic considering my last post, but I think that’s parenting in a nutshell. The feelings are different every day.
Today I feel like I’m in the woods. I know they end somewhere. But I don’t know where. I thought I was closer than I am. I can’t go back, the option isn’t there. And I wouldn’t. Except I just want to sit down and give up today.
We moved into our new house a week ago. The first thing we did was put chains on the doors. Then we fenced the back yard. Why? Danger. Danger is an escape artist. He wanders. We thought we had it.
Tonight he unlocked his window and got out while I thought he was sleeping. We went to bring his dog to his room and he was gone. I’ve experienced this three times now. They have been the longest, most hellish moments of my life. I would go through unmedicated childbirth ten times over to never experience them again. To have avoided ever experiencing them. In those moments you realize how all those brilliant things that happened in the past thirty days mean nothing if that child isn’t coming home to you.
Thank God he was safe. Thank God.
I thought he’d progressed past this point. I thought he was progressing and I suppose he is, but it’s easy to let something like this steal that feeling. Like an alcoholic who loses their sobriety and has to start the count again. I’ve never seen him stim like he was tonight either. He was totally overdone.
Here’s the thing about parenting a special needs child: No one asks you if you’re up to the task. I’m not special. I’m not stronger than anyone else. But just like the mother of a typical child I love my son. More than myself. It’s the love that keeps me going. Without it, I would just be lost in the woods. As it is, I’m lost in the woods with that love pushing me forward.
Tonight I thought, I just don’t want to do this anymore. And then I thought WHY ME? And then I looked at him and thought, I love that kid. And so I keep going. Because I need to. Because I can’t do anything else. Because my son is precious to me beyond words. Because he’s brought me joy that surpasses the sorrow.
Maybe that sums up parenting for everyone. You will never know love so deep, joy so profound or sadness so intense as you do when you love a child. Adopted or biological, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson or granddaughter. Because they are in our care. Vulnerable to us.
And again, I wish I could see the edge of the forest so I’d know I was getting there. So I’d know I could make it through this okay. So I’d know I wouldn’t let him down. That I won’t let my other beautiful kids down either. But I don’t know. I can’t tell. So I keep walking. And I hope that love makes up for my missteps. I hope my kids’ guardian angels work extra vigilantly to cover where I fail. I pray that God is there to catch them when I don’t.
This isn’t the blog post I was going to write. But it’s the blog post I needed to write. Someday I’ll write a blog post about the shenanigans of our new golden retriever. Or about Diva picking grapes in the backyard. Or Drama and his impressive knowledge of geography. But today I had to write this. Right. *grabs walking stick* I’ve got to keep on hiking through now. I can’t see the end. But I hope love lights my way.