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People seem to think that special needs parents have a super hero cape that was issued on the day our kids were diagnosed. If they do, I must have skipped that line. Or else the dry cleaner lost it. I think that perception is because so many of us are able to function beautifully in crisis situations. Yes, I can handle surgeries and hospitals and waiting rooms and tests and and and….
What you don’t see are the meltdowns that occur over the little things.
The things like it taking 30 minutes and a crowbar to get a pair of pants over a leg not shaped like everyone else. Or the destroying of a $15 bandage cause you dropped it. Or taking a crew of people to accomplish a simple shower. THESE are the times when that mythical cape lay torn and tattered in a crumple mess on the bathroom floor that hasn’t been mopped in a month.
These are the times you don’t see. Me screaming and crying cause I can’t find a shoe. Or being so exhausted that literally sitting in this chair hurts. Or going postal on the person driving too slow in front of me. My imaginary cape tends to hide all that from the world.
Or maybe it doesn’t. Lately I have been tired and cranky and judgmental. I have been quick to snap. Quick to scream. Quick to cry. Quick to lose my patience. Quick to be negative.
Cause I do hold it all together so well when everyone thinks I should be a mess.
And I am not the only one. I have talked to many special needs moms that have gone through this. Apparently, one can only be super so long before eventually your human shows. These are the things that no one tells the new special needs parent.
It’s after the crisis that your resolve is quietly tested. It’s when everyone thinks you have conquered the summit that you are barely hanging onto the cliff with your last artificial nail.
That is when you need the support of awesome friends like Melissa that make you cookies, Suzanne and Laura who know the value of a cosmo (or 10), a mom who throws a load in the washer, a husband who brings home takeout, kids that are resilient and a dog that loves you unconditionally.
Cause you know how to handle a tsunami. It’s forgetting an umbrella during a spring shower that will throw you. Every. Time.