Choosing Joy

Writing that last post about the IEP evaluations really made me reflect on how far we have all come in these last few years. Of course Ryan has come so far, from having a 10% chance of surviving the pregnancy to walking in his walker and doing transitions I never thought he would do. There were days when I didn't think I would ever see him sit, or even bear weight on his feet. I cant talk about how sad I was during the pregnancy, birth and the months to follow, how I uttered some words i cant repeat and can never take back. Some things are better left off this forum and I'm basically a very private person who doesn't share feelings very easily, must be the Irish thing. My mum didn't even know there was a problem when I was pregnant until Ryan was about 26 weeks (I had found out at 11 weeks) and it wasn't until she got to the US just before I gave birth did she know the extent of the issues or how serious they were. Only one person at work knew there was anything wrong at all, although I don't know how they could miss the ultrasounds i was having sometimes weekly. I was grieving, and couldn't see my way out except to just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and although on the outside all seemed to be ok on the inside I was dying. When I hear about another mum just finding out that their child is delayed or something is wrong my heart goes out to them, because i know how hard that first year or so is and how it can completely consume and envelop you if allowed. Every tiny little thing could push me over the edge at that time, and just when I thought things were getting better something quite insignificant would happen and the floodgates would open.

Having your child evaluated by a group of strangers who don't know anything about him and who's primary purpose is to find out what he cant do is incredibly stressful, and a few years ago would have sent me into a tailspin. When the school team descended on the house last week, yes I was nervous but then i realised that Ryan is not going to show anything I don't know already about him. And as a bonus he showed them some things I didn't know he could do. I was really quite surprised that I was ok with how he preformed. (Although I'm not exactly happy that he has to perform, I would much rather just allow him to just be)

Today i try to choose Joy. I try to look at the positives, wow he was able to pick up the ravioli on a fork tonight, what a great sleeper he is, and the fact that this winter hasn't been so bad in the sickness department. The little things that I'm so thankful for. We can get bedded down in the cants and wont's, but I refuse to live my life in pity. The reality is that my son is 34 months and doesn't walk yet, has never said one word, not even mama, and that is SO hard to accept but I choose to not believe that the world is not his oyster. Hes happy and full of joy, hes making little discoveries each and every day that he can build on. Just yesterday he was sitting with a bucket and rocking it back and forth with a little ball inside, then he would add another little ball, and the laughing would start, adding another little ball, and the laughing got greater. I was so entranced in the joy he was having with his little game and his happiness is infectious, and I guess laughter really is the best medicine.


Momttorney said…
I have so much to say about this post, and was going to write you separately, but I'm up to my ears in work, so I'm just going to leave my basic comments here for now. I love this. Love it. I read it right after you posted it, and have had "Today, I choose joy," running through my head ever since. What a wonderful mantra, right? As another friend put it, she is constantly balancing grief and worry against hope and optimism, but as time goes on, the hope and optimism wins more and more. I like that. Ryan is an incredible little man, and you are an incredible "mum." And, while I know you say you are a private person (I'm admittedly more of a "heart on my sleeve" kind of girl), I'm so so glad you've shared your journey (and Ryan's) with me. Now, if only we lived in the same city -- I could use a girlfriend like you to have coffee (and other beverages!) with from time to time!

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