When one has a child with special needs expectations change. Goals change. The future changes. I am not going to go into this whole long thing about Gabrielle other than she was very early (10 weeks) I was very sick and she was very sick and she weighed 2 lbs and 12 ounces. That is 1245 grams by the way. I had to know that when I called the NICU relentlessly every two hours to check on her. That was our code. She has a variety of disabilities and we try to kid with her and with each other, because, honestly, what good does it do anyone to feel sorry for Gabrielle? What good would it do for me to feel sorry for myself? Plus, honestly, it never escapes my attention that we are damn lucky.
So when your perspective shifts you try to look at the positive and at what Gabs CAN do and not what she can’t. Today she was helping me in the yard and the following are things she does REALLY WELL:
Drops things in the grass that I asked her to hold and will never, ever find in the grass. Until I mow the lawn. Then they will be found. Loudly.
Drops tools on my foot. She seems to excel at this, especially when said tool is sharp.
Hands me things that I asked her to hold and hand me when I was ready. She is super enthusiastic about this and hence hands me EVERYTHING in her hand. all at once. Every time.
Talks to me in the softest possible voice while I am on top of a 12 foot ladder. She is working on my cardio I think, up the ladder, down the ladder, up the ladder, down the ladder.
Also, Gabrielle is wicked good at standing incredibly close to me. Especially when I am working on something difficult -ish. In fact, she was so good at standing close to me that she went way beyond close and was actually standing against me, leaning at one point, while I was standing tip toe trying to tie something up above my head. With a green wire. That Gabs hand handed me along with 435 other things, after she dropped the other green wires in the grass, never to be seen again.
See, it’s all about perspective!