The other day, I was on the phone with the insurance company calling about an AWOL payment for the eighth (yes, eighth) time. Maddening, yeah, but I wasn't giving up.
Determination. That's a defining word for my special needs parenthood experience. I've always had a decent amount of it, but now I've got determination on steroids.
I've been determined to get Max the services he needs
Determined to not take "no" for an answer
Determined to choose good and caring doctors and therapists
Determined to make sure he gets a great education
Determined to guide him to do his best in school
Determined to make sure the experts in his life best help me to help him
Determined to find programs and resources
Determined to find products, tools, devices and tech to enable him
Determined to make him feel good about his abilities
Determined to get him excited about—and engaged with—the world around him
Determined to open his eyes to new experiences
Determined to instill in him as much confidence as possible
Determined to help others see just how awesome he and other kids like him are
And, of course, determined to keep him happy.
In the first years of Max's life, I often felt hopeless, bewildered, sad and grim. Being driven to help Max however I could gave me purpose, focus and strength. Determination kept me going back then, and still powers me through parenthood (along with iced coffee). And Max, well, he's my determination role model. Because no matter what challenges the cerebral palsy poses for him, he's gung-ho to figure out ways around them, and to keep right on trying.
So, which word most defines special needs parenting for you?
Special needs parenting is….