Life is what we make it. Turn lemons into lemonade. You get what you give- and so on and so on. But for real? Not always so simple.
Truth: Life is tough, life can suck, life can throw some major league curve balls in your direction, and you either have to catch them and deal, or dodge them and let the chips fall where they may.
If you only see the good, you miss the real. If you only see the bad, you are missing your life.
I tend to reference being the parent of a special needs child alot, because this is such a huge factor in who I am, where I’ve been and where I am constantly heading. With an unsure smile, a tell alot blog, and a sense of humor, I trudge through each day, not sure what tomorrow will bring, but okay with that because I have a great support system and I am pretty content with my life.
Every experience we have is relevant. It molds us, guides us, points us in a direction. Don’t dwell on the bad, because it’s brought you to this point, and you’re still here. : ) From almost every negative is born a positive- you just have to look for it. Sometimes its really hard to spot, but even if its small, its probably there. It could be meeting a great friend at chemotherapy. Maybe its re-connecting with a long lost relationship at a funeral (Brenda…). Meeting a cute doctor in the ER? LOL- small things, but present, and should be acknowledged, for they add up.
When I first met Seth, I had a crazy crush on him. I was 14 the first time I saw him, and he wanted nothing to do with me. I remember calling him, and he blew me off. He later told me that he was pretty messed up, and in a bad time in his life and he didn’t want to pull me down that hole. Once he cleaned up his act a bit, he asked me out. I was 15, almost 16 by then. We’ve been through some rough stuff, but we’re still together. If we’d gone out when I was first crushing on him- we most likely wouldn’t have lasted. Negative to positive.
When I found out at 18 that I was pregnant, it was pretty intense. Not an ideal situation, considering I had left home at 17, was living with Seth and unemployed. College? Not in the cards. It was diapers and sleepless nights in my future, and I was pretty terrified. I heard alot of teen mom statistics, and many people were skeptical about kids raising a baby. I waited a LONG time to see a doctor. 16 weeks at my first appointment. I was 18, I was dumb! and looking back I think maybe I was afraid someone would try to talk me out of the pregnancy. I wore my regular clothes, including jeans into my 5th month. I wasn’t flaunting the situation. Then it got to be impossible, and I had no choice. I looked young, and people stared. There were no 16 and pregnant reality shows to glorify this. People judged and assumed things. There were few ‘congratulations’ if any. I remember going to the dentist and the snotty receptionist. She saw my stomach, and instead of congratulating me or asking when I was due, she said “oh, did you have a big wedding?” I wish I had been quicker on my feet because I would have said something super bitchy just to stun her like “oh, no, I don’t know who the father is”..but I was far to sweet back then. Her reaction, along with others, drove me to want to be the best mother ever. Negative to positive.
In short, by every one’s reactions, I felt my life was over! I was done, all washed up, a teen mom, who would have nothing, my baby would be deprived, I would never amount to anything and she may not either. God did I want to prove them wrong.
At 6 months I had a test that came back showing the baby could have Down Syndrome. This was huge. How would I parent a child with needs at 18? My mind reeled and I didn’t sleep. It was 4 long weeks before they were able to get enough fluid for an amniocentesis and the results were back. She was fine and she was a girl. We chose the name Abigail or Abby, after my great grandmother.
Abby was born and my world changed. Seth and I were able to turn all of the negative into positive by raising a beautiful, happy, healthy, intelligent, caring child. She was the light of our life and we were proving all of the stereotypes to be wrong.
Being pregnant the second time was completely different. I’ve blogged about this before, so I wont reiterate what’s already been said, but I can say, when I found out Logan was a boy, I was stunned. I had almost all female cousins, a sister and a daughter. A boy? What am I going to do with a boy? I had no idea, and wasn’t sure I wanted to figure it out. I wanted another girl! I wanted to use the dresses again! I had a pink carriage, car seat, highchair, nursery. UGH! A boy screws everything up.
Slowly I got used to the idea of a boy, and started to get excited. Okay, I can do this. Now 21, and 3 years of parenting Abby the super child under my belt, I was ready for the next challenge. Let’s go son.
The birth is another thing I have blogged about in some length- won’t go there again- but when Logan was born, Abby got to choose his name (which is on tape and so adorable) and we brought him home and were a happy family. Logan was sick, and very time consuming and poor Abby had no choice but to tag along to appointments and hospitals and therapies- but I really think this helped to mold her into the person she is today.
She is unspoiled, she is one of the most caring, considerate people I know. I can honestly say this, not as her mother but as a person. She’s amazing. She is the best big sister I could ever dream of for him, and her love has helped him immensely. His needs have made her extremely special as well. Negative to positive.
Logan having needs has made all of us different than we would have been. When my kids were small, I never would have dreamed that I would go head to head with schools, doctors, health insurance. I never saw myself as that mom in shining armor, ready for battle. Obviously I want what’s best for my kids, but if someone had told me 20 years ago that someday I would have all of this under my belt in 2012, I would never have believed it. It’s made me stronger, smarter, more assertive, and I have passed that on to my daughter. Negative to positive.
The thing is, we all have ‘stuff’. Some people’s stuff is alot bigger than others, but its there and its theirs. Its a big deal to them. Try to pull something positive from every experience, it helps. Happy Friday to you ❤
LIFE is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. ~Lou Holtz