Return to This | Oviedo Photographer

Shakira 18 BW : special needs

There is this vulnerability that consumes parenthood. Despite the notion that we wake up each day and vow to do our very best, there are these moments. Moments that test our spirit unlike anything else. Moments when we are so invested that we are surrounded by the pressure to do just the right thing, in just the right way.

Questions like do I push harder, do I pull back, is this enough, am I enough start to flood our hearts in a flurry of chaos. All making it harder to make sense of it all.

I know this to be true three times through. Believe it or not there is another level.

Add a dash of a special need to this mix and you can amp up these feelings by an immeasurable amount. It can feel like living life with your heart exposed to the most vulnerable parts of this world. As if the questions of enough run on repeat throughout every day and they don’t stop at night.

It is a different level. I know, I have been blessed to live in both worlds.

At the first mention of a diagnosis we go into fight mode. We vow to fight for our child with knowledge, so we become consumed in learning everything that we can about what all of this could mean. Despite the sometimes scary realization of how our world is shifting right before our eyes, there is this beautiful child that you will always love anyway. That love is what keeps you digging to make sure their life is all that it could be.

Then reality starts to sweep in. You must create your team of doctors, therapists and become an advocate that you never signed up to be. This takes time and commitment while still balancing the every day needs of childhood. The quiet moments are the hardest and when you find out how strong you are.

The questions of enough, the demands of our little reality don’t let up. Day after day, year after year it continues to build as our little one ventures through their childhood. The thoughts about what the next chapter will look like start to creep in and we realize quickly that this is a life full of rinse and repeat.

So how does one survive?

For every hardship there are monumentous victories in the tiniest details. We become cheerleaders to the baby steps that make up success. We learn to celebrate life in its most pure form, giving away our definition of normal to the vanity of society. We live a life striped down and vulnerable and that allows us to see through a filter unlike ever before.

It makes us want the world to be a better place, a safer place for everyone. We are not lost in an idealistic view of this world, rather we are living in the trenches of what is missing. There is not a day that we go out into the world that we cannot feel this disparity in some way and sometimes that weight can feel overwhelming. So we retreat.

Into our little world we go to catch our breath and fuel our strength. We must quiet the noise and hold our hearts. We return to this to remind ourselves of our why and find our fight once more. For at the end of the day you would do it all for the one that calls you mom.

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