Today’s post is more of a reflective one than an informative one. As I prepare for parenthood I’ve been reflecting on the parents I know personally and professionally. I am in awe at how parents deal with this new lifestyle, from daily mishaps like blowouts, blowups, and packing that diaper bag to major upsets, such as childhood illness, disability, or even death of a child.
I have often had difficult conversations with families who have come to a realization that their child has more going on than a developmental delay, such as a more diagnosable disability. It is heartbreaking to hear these parents concerns, to see fears confirmed when MRI’s come back, or doctor’s have given a diagnosis of something more serious. These parents want the best for their little ones, and the idea of them not having that can be debilitating.
Being a parent makes you so vulnerable, you would give anything for this little one and it can be so hard to see them go through pain or misunderstanding. What I wanted to focus on is how incredible it is to be a parent. No matter what diagnosis a child has or what difficulty they may face, these parents love their children. I have seen these children just flourish because of the confidence and opportunities their parents give them. There really is no limit of love for our children and seeing that gives me hope. Children really are our future and they make us all better, whether you are a parent, a caregiver, an aunt, uncle, teacher, or neighbor.
I can think of a specific family I worked with that showed me the difference a parent could make. They were a young family with two children and just had their third. She was born with a chromosomal deletion and would be considered disabled her whole life. When it came time for me to meet the family I was worried about how they were coping with their newborns disability and especially tackling the day to day care of this child. When I arrived I remember just feeling so much love. Love for their child and everything she could be. I worked with this family for a little under a year, and never once did I hear them say any negative words about her disability, or about her limitations. They didn’t see them, they only saw potential and that this disability didn’t define their child. They treated her like any other child, and gave her all the opportunities she needed. I have never seen a child flourish so quickly. She was meeting developmental milestones on time, even though she should be months and years behind. They taught me to love a child and a person for who they are, and for the potential they have. To not limit anyone.
I am not a parent yet, but even with this little one inside me I feel so much love for him. I want the world for him and I pray that no one will limit him, no matter what difficulties he might come with. I’d love to hear about seeing your child persevere and what that meant to you as a parent!!