I could watch the video of Abby finally walking a thousand times. I think I already have. It will not be the last milestone we will reach together, but I think I get it, thanks to you. Walking, talking, reading, writing...they all require work. And time. And love. And time. And they won't come quick, maybe easier to others, but not everything. And she will need help. And I will need help. And that's ok. Because you taught me this:
"I will help you. I always will." A lesson from you, that I will never forget.
Abby walking means so much more than just her reaching another milestone. It has more significance to me, as a parent, and in journey to raise little people into the best people that they can be. To not be rushed or pressured with milestone dates, charts, where they land on the "curve." I understand the need to have these be guidelines, but I also have now seen the pressure put on parents to get their kids to the next step, sometimes making us crumble; feeling like a terrible parent because our child isn't progressing as quickly as everyone else. And we need help. We cannot do this alone.
Slap a "failure to thrive" on your child's chart and give them a prescription for physical therapy plus some crappy sugar in a bottle and they send you home to fend for yourself. Bonus: you now feel the lowest of lows because all the pressure is on you. You have to get them fatter so they show better on the chart. But how? You have to take them to therapy, in between work, kids, life- 2-3 days a week. You have to make sure that they start to progress. No pressure at all. I had never experienced pressure like this before. I wish I could say that I was strong, but I can't. I have cried, yelled, got angry, sad, mad, happy, frustrated and have done them all over time and time again. But then, I look at her and remember what my Mom has always told me,"I will help you. I always will." And that what I did for her. I helped. And I always will.
Is she happy? Yes.
Is she eating? Yes.
Have I seen every specialist under the sun? Yes.
Is she progressing at the pace of a turtle? Yes.
Is she loved? Yes.
Am I doing EVERYTHING IN MY POWER to HELP her? Yes.
Have I been there through every step of the way, HELPING her? Absolutely.
Is she loved? Hell yes.
And now I get it.
Abby, being the last of four kids, has taught me more lessons than I think I have learned in my last 10 years as a parent. Because now, 10 years later, I get it. What my Mom taught me, and know it will reign true to the end of time. I will help you. I always will. And now, I really get it and I hope other parents out there that are struggling with the "my child isn't there yet" or the "why is this taking so long" syndrome will be strong and get it too. Because it isn't easy. We want our children to be the best. Be the fastest. Be the first. Because being first is the best right? WRONG! And no one can do it on their own. You need help. And help comes from everyone you love, cheering you on and supporting you in so many ways. But we learn. We can't do this alone. No one can. And even the tiniest of people will make you remember what you need to know. I will help you. You will help me. It goes both ways. I finally get it.
I get that it WOULD be enough if she never walked, but we tried everyday.
I get that no mater what condition she has, I am thankful that I didn't terminate the pregnancy and let her live, like some doctors advised.
I get that patience is a virtue, and everyone is on their own schedule.
I get that small steps cannot be rushed. It takes time, love, patience, faith and positive thinking to just know that we will eventually reach the goal we have been striving to accomplish.
And with that, the long road, the sometimes bumpy road, will not matter in the end how we got there. What will matter is the help we received along the way to get there. That will matter the most. This is who we will remember. We see the journey and the memories of what once was, as just that...memories. We are able to see how far we have come.
To my last baby, thank you for teaching me the value of my job. I am forever grateful to be here on your journey. And to my Mom, thank you for all your help along the way. In every form. It's because of you that I get it now.
With All My Love to You Mom,