Program note: wrote this from the heart, but it is not at all funny, so feel free to bow out now if you were expecting my usual sarcastic self. Today is one of those days when I just needed to write it out to feel better. That, and a large iced coffee should do the trick. I should be back to making fun of people in no time.
Fear. Anger. Resentment. Sadness.
These are all things I feel, some days more strongly than others.
I fear what will happen to my child in the future. On good days he says he knows he is different. On bad days he says he doesn’t deserve to be alive. If these are the things he is saying at 9, then what will he be like at 15? My heart freezes in terror when I think about the road that lies ahead.
I feel so much anger, but I don’t know who to direct it at. I know life is not fair, but it still makes me want to punch someone when I think that my beautiful, laughing baby has to endure this. And then sometimes I am angry with myself. Because even though I could not have helped it, a tiny part of me thinks maybe I did something wrong that has caused all this. It’s not rational, but it’s there.
Resentment. I resent other mothers. I am jealous of their worries about good grades, behavior, or how well their child pitched a baseball in the last game. I want to have normal worries. I worry about things they can’t even imagine. And I resent the way people look at me in public, like I must be some kind of monster because my child wears a perpetual scowl and flinches when I try to touch him.
I am sad. Not all the time. In fact I am quite an optimist and I have a fairly sunny disposition, in my opinion. But deep down I am so tired of not having answers and not knowing what to do. The only thing I want in the whole world is for my baby to be happy, and I don’t know that it’s even possible.
But always I come back to others who have it far worse than I do. I joke about watching Schindler’s List, but it really does help to be reminded that others have endured far worse. As I told my friend Whitney the other day, just knowing I don’t have to dig rocks out of the frozen ground at gunpoint really puts a stop to all my whining.
And I look to my friend Kerri, who is always a tremendous inspiration. She faces far more difficult circumstances than I do and yet she is full of hope. In turn, she gives me hope and helps me put it all in perspective. Last week, she posted this on her blog, and I’m re-posting it here, because it helps me remember: there is a reason for all this, and it is in God’s hands.
You have Taught Me
to rejoice in small gains which others take for granted.
You have taught me tolerance
to accept that your perspective is different
and deserves respect.
You have taught me courage
to fight for you when no one else will.
You have taught me endurance
to go on when I feel I can’t any more.
You have taught me humility
to accept when I can’t make things better
but can only be here for you.
You have taught me to love
at a deeper level than I ever thought possible.