Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bee-worthy Share

A new blogger "friend" who has just the right words, just at the right two separate, yet oh so perfect, posts. Thank you to the mommy, AKA "Green Eyed Monster Mommy (GEMM)" at The Crack and the Light! Please visit her blog... and read more of her amazingly perfect words :)

An Open Letter to All Professionals.

New teacher, or therapist, or doctor? Is that you?
Oh hello…
I just wanted to chat with you a second. To caution you. Or warn you.
Please, tread carefully.

You see, what you might not realize as you look at me, talk to me, tell me your opinions, our options, our lack of options, and your predictions of our outcomes is that; well… you see that heart?

The slightly broken, definitely bruised one?

Yeah, that’s my heart.

My slightly-broken, definitely-bruised heart.

Now, I realize that as you look at me you might see…a confident parent… or an angry parent…or a happy-go-lucky parent…

You might think that I understand everything… or nothing…… or that I have all the experience in the world because I have done this before… or that I know the rules… or that I don’t know the rules and that is for the best….

You might believe… that I am high maintenance… or overreacting… or maybe neurotic… or disengaged and uninterested… or that I don’t really care… or maybe I care too much…

But regardless of what you see, what you think, or what you believe, this is what you should know:

I am broken-hearted. And it doesn’t matter if it is the first day or a century later. It doesn’t matter where in the “grief cycle” I might be. It doesn’t matter if the wounds are healed, or healing, or fresh and new. This heart is bruised. Slightly broken. Different than it once was and will ever be again. And when you speak, or don’t speak, in judgment or not, my heart is out there.

Some of “us” parents… the ‘special’ ones… can be a pain in the ass. I know that. WE know that. But we are fighting a fight we never planned to fight, and it doesn’t end. We don’t get to clock out at the end of the day. We don’t get a vacation from it. We live it, everyday. We are fighting without knowing how to fight it, and we depend so much on you to help us. We have been disappointed, by you or others like you. And we are disappointed in ourselves. We are your harshest critics. We are our own harshest critics too. We are genuinely fearful, and driven, and absolutely devoted. And we also know, we need you. So please, be careful with us. Because as hard and tough as we may look outwardly, our hearts are fragile things.

And if that wasn't perfect enough to brighten my day & re-engage my determination.. my motivation... my reason for fighting the good fight:

A Letter to Myself and Others Like Me

You are not 'just the parent'.

It is easy to feel that way. Like you are 'just the parent'.

In the beginning, you bought the books. There are a lot of books. Books about baby care, books about development. Books about sleeping and eating and pooping. Books about raising children. And those books told you about normal. About typical. You took some classes, joined some new parent groups. You felt prepared. Ready to take on the challenge of parenthood, to love and raise your beautiful child. And you learned what you needed to learn. How to change diapers, how to feed your child, how to soothe him. You were building your story together.

But then at some point you discovered you were not dealing with typical. With 'normal'.

And the Fear and the Doubt set in. You went out and found the experts. Doctors, therapists, teachers, all well-educated, all professionals, and all very well meaning. Experts. And they are filled with Knowledge. They know what to do. They might suggest, imply that you don't. That you can't, because you don't have their Knowledge. You are 'just the parent'. They'd take it from here. Or maybe you feel you can't help. The Fear and the Doubt have made you feel Powerless.

But I am here to tell you: You are not 'just the parent'.

You are the Expert on your child!

You are! You have been there from the beginning. You know her smiles, his frowns, the things that bring her joy and what brings on his fear, sadness, or withdrawal. You are keenly aware of her strengths and his challenges. You are the keeper of her history and the foundation for his future. You love, and because you love, you mean more to your child than any other professional can possibly mean. You must trust yourself. Trust your instincts, that inner voice that calls to you.

Now, you might need to read new books. You might need to learn new skills, skills other parents don't have to learn. You might need to parent a little differently. Or a lot differently. And the professionals you bring in to learn these new skills are there to serve you. To foster your relationship. To support you and your child, together. The good, the very best professionals will do that. They will listen. They will work with you. They will hear what you have to say, and respect your opinion. You will be included. Cherish these people, because they are worth their weight in gold.

And don't let the others ... the ones to presume to know better than you... take away who you really are.

You are not 'just the parent'.

You are the Expert on your child!

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