I’ve got a new guest post up today at DifferentDream.com about the guilt that special needs parents (and especially moms) have – it’s similar to the guilt that all moms have, but more intense because our children’s needs are more intense. We blame ourself for our children’s condition, or we feel guilty when we don’t push our child to do enough of his or her therapy “homework”. The post begins:

Eleven years ago, when my daughter, Sarah Kate, was born ten weeks premature, I blamed myself. A year later, when she was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, I blamed myself. Six years after that, when my son, Nathan, was born with Down syndrome, I blamed myself.

I’m not blaming myself anymore.

It’s not because I don’t think I could have done things differently, and it’s not because I’ve found someone else to blame. Things could have gone differently, resulting in different outcomes, but they didn’t, and our life as a family with two children with special needs (and no typical ones) is enough.

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Remember back when we moved Nathan to the big boy bed, but he wouldn’t nap in his room because … daylight … or something? Back when my queen size bed was converted, like clockwork, into a jump-jump each afternoon? No? Then feel free to read up on it here and come right back.

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But then remember how a year later I found the nuns (Hallelujah!) and the clouds parted and the angels sang because Mother Angelica and the nuns of OLAM worked their magic and lulled Nathan to sleep every afternoon in what would previously have been record time, and all without flailing limbs? The OLAM nuns were even magical in person.

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Ah, yes … those were the days … a sweet boy snuggled next to me while I worked on blog posts or bills or caught up on the DVR. The dogs especially enjoyed naptime, I think, because … sleep. And in Stella’s case, snuggles with warm bodies.

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Though on occasion, the coveted snuggle was preceded briefly by an affectionate chokehold.

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We even managed to get in one good afternoon snuggle nap in pajamas because #ICEPOCALYPSE2014 struck the usually mild Mayberry this winter.

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But, alas, it appears that the afternoon snuggle nap has come to end. Three out of the last four days I’ve spent 90 minutes (or more) waiting for him to fall asleep – 90 minutes of failure. That fourth day? He did fall asleep, but he didn’t sleep long. So as much as I hate to do it, I’m calling it: The Era of the Snuggle Nap is over.

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Farewell, Afternoon Snuggle Nap. You will be missed.

 

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Inner Beauty Beach: The Return

July 29, 2014

A month ago, I stated that we wouldn’t go to the beach this summer. I was sure the only time my toes would sink in the white-sand beaches and my clothes would smell like the salt air would be the day that my friend Leigh Ann eloped on our favorite beach. Mr. Andi was only slightly more […]

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Sun-Beams: July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014

Sun-Beams is a collection of links to stories, articles, photos, or videos I have come across that I believe will inspire, inform, or encourage you, as well as my favorite photo posted on my other blog, Violet Film, from the past week. A Letter to My Son About Autism - A poignant look into one family’s […]

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Seven Snippets: Baseball, Losing Your Therapist, and Potty Progress

July 25, 2014

— 1 — It’s been a week of baseball here in Mayberry! The Dixie Youth 11-12 state tournament was held here from Saturday through yesterday and both of our local teams were in it – one as the host team, and the other as their district winner. Several of the players are the same kids […]

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Seven Years Ago: Sarah Kate Gets a Throwback Thursday

July 24, 2014

Several weeks ago, I mentioned the idea of adding a “Throwback Thursday”-type post as a regular feature on the blog, since Nathan’s entire preschool-hood is documented here in photos but Sarah Kate got the shaft for the first seven years. crickets chirping I scrapped that idea but I’ve been doing some more organizing of my photos […]

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Freedom Is Still a Little Ways Off

July 22, 2014

On Sunday morning, we resolved to put Sarah Kate on her bike. Her therapists have been advocating it for a little while, but the last time we tried ended in frustration – mine and hers. I hoped things would go better this go ’round. They did. Sort of. It started with me taking her out, […]

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Sun-Beams: July 20, 2014

July 20, 2014

Sun-Beams is a collection of links to stories, articles, photos, or videos I have come across that I believe will inspire, inform, or encourage you, as well as my favorite photo posted on my other blog, Violet Film, from the past week. The interior strength of a painter with cerebral palsy - Her art is stronger […]

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Seven Snippets: The #PopeCup, The ESPYs, and Recommend a Book for Me

July 18, 2014

— 1 — I’m a few days late, but the #PopeCup memes are still funny, right? This one was my fave:   — 2 — I need a book recommendation. I haven’t been too enthused about anything I’ve read lately, with a few exceptions: the Hunger Games Trilogy (that I finished over a year ago), […]

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A Challenge For You, From Sarah Kate

July 17, 2014

We learned about the Miracle Marathon this week, and I have to tell you: we’re pumped. When I was first contacted by Children’s of Alabama about the event, I thought, “Hey, why not? I like to run, some of my readers are runners, and both of the kids have been treated at Children’s of Alabama. […]

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