What I Fear Most as a Parent to a Child With Special Needs
A letter to my son:
The day we found out about your special needs, your diagnosis of cerebral palsy, I was never worried for myself. I already knew I loved you with all my heart. I already knew I would do whatever it took to take care of you. I already knew I would be willing to sacrifice anything for your well-being and happiness. I knew I wouldn’t trade you for the world because you are my world. My days are filled with doctors appointments, therapists offices and lots of waiting rooms, but they don’t bother me. I love helping you, and watching you learn and grow.
I know I’m not super mom, but I try my best for you. You have such a sweet heart. Seeing your joy and love for people inspires me. Your heart of gold makes me want to be a better person. I would do anything to keep you this way — young and innocent. I’ll fight for you ever day and will go to the ends of the earth to keep you safe. Yet, I know no matter how hard I fight or how much I try, my biggest fear for you will one day come true. I can’t stop it. I can’t change it. I just have to sit and wait for it.
Because what I fear the most is the day you understand.
That day you see how different your life is.
When you learn that all these appointments aren’t just fun new play places. When you start to notice the stares of strangers and understand the comments they make. The day you wonder why you can’t run as fast as your friends. When the other kids want to know why you talk so different. When someone tells you that you can’t or underestimates your strength. The day that you get called slow. When your so frustrated because you put out so much effort, as much as your truly have, and you still can’t do what you want. I know this day will come. I dread the day already.
How badly I wish I could keep you here. In the place where your smile never fades. The place where you feel strong and safe. I know the world is harsh, and I know it will all be a little harsher for you. I know I will never be able to change it. I can’t change the fact that one day that fearful day will be upon us.
The truth is, that day will come, but it will also go. That day I dread for you, my sweet baby, isn’t one that will last forever. It will pass, and a new day will come. Even though the battle will have just started on that day, I know you will make it though. Day by day, you will make it through.
Because I’ll be here waiting.
I’ll be here waiting to build you up and to remind you about how truly special you are. I’ll be here with arms open wide to hold you if you want to cry. I’ll be here to remind you that you we believe God doesn’t make mistakes. I’ll be here waiting, waiting for that day.
This post originally appeared on The Diary of a Real Housewife.
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