My husband, bless his heart, took my three daughters to my favorite store earlier that week to find the perfect gift, because you know if you can’t find me something I love at Tarjay, you don’t know me at all.
But I believe in always writing with authenticity and with truth, and the truth is, I’m struggling to make sure this experience — this experience that was painful and scary and the worst thing that has ever happened to me — doesn’t change me for the worse.
“This is why we say vows.”
Those words lightened my heart as my husband uttered them softly in the dimly lit emergency room. The doctor had just informed us that I was going to be admitted for a series of gastrointestinal tests while I dry heaved into a pink plastic bed pan.
To the guy who bought that last round of shots at Planet Fred’s about 20 years ago, I want to say thank you.
Because of you (and quite possibly the Lemon Drop), I asked a handsome young man to dance. He held his hands up in front of him and shook his head no, but pushed his friend towards me. We took off and boogied.
What is it like to raise a child with special needs? Emily Perl Kingsley equated it to planning a vacation but the destination gets changed suddenly.
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip—to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
It was one year ago when I permanently shut the doors of my public relations business and started writing full time. I have gained so much in the process: a new set of supportive friends that get the agony and elation of birthing stories; a group of “followers” whom I have grown to love and admire; a better appreciation for both the time and dedication it takes to be a writer; and a realization that I am actually living my dream.
I have also gained 6.8 pounds according to my scale.
As our kids grow, the “firsts” come less frequently and the time stretched between them lengthen. Instead of celebrating a new milestone, the goal becomes surviving another Monday shuttling your kids to piano, soccer, the library and Tae Kwan Do while serving something edible for dinner in a Tupperware container that is BPA-free, of course. #winning.
This post is part of the #1000Speak movement, where more than 1,000 bloggers will attempt to change the world by writing about compassion.
“Compassion is a verb.”
Everyone is somebody’s daughter; everyone is somebody’s son.
My six-year Facebookaversary is coming up soon. Yep, I’ve been wasting time in the black hole of the Internet for nearly 2,000 days and loving every second of it.
Always one to take on a double-dog dare, I sat down with my three girls (twins age 10 and my almost nine year old) separately and read them the piece. I received quite a few giggles, a few nods, and about 25 interruptions asking what certain words meant like trajectory and unfulfilling and diss. In the world of Common Core grading, they didn’t even know what GPA was yet.