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.
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.
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.
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.
Though on occasion, the coveted snuggle was preceded briefly by an affectionate chokehold.
We even managed to get in one good afternoon snuggle nap in pajamas because #ICEPOCALYPSE2014 struck the usually mild Mayberry this winter.
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.
Farewell, Afternoon Snuggle Nap. You will be missed.