A few years ago, I was driving down the highway to take my son to therapy. The accessible parking tag that was hanging from the rear-view mirror caught my attention. I looked down at my lowered (and very messy and cluttered) floorboards in our wheelchair-accessible van.
How did this happen?
My dream car was a lovely and roomy minivan. It had more cup holders than anyone needed. But it had to be sold for this, a wheelchair accessible van.
I remember those nights when staying up past midnight meant that I could be lazy the next day. Or if I did have to go to work, I could suffer through the day knowing that the couch would be waiting for me as soon as I made it home.
But now when I’m up past midnight, it’s not for fun. It’s because I’m getting ready for an ARD meeting. Or I’m researching a new treatment. Or I’m learning about new technology and software to help my son.
When did I become the stay-at-home mom who doesn't have time for anything? I don't even have time to clean my house and do laundry on a regular basis. I can never seem to figure out how to land and just be. There's always something to do. Always somewhere to be.
I’m always thinking about how I can help make life better for my son. I want him to experience life to the fullest. I want him to be included in school. I want him to be part of his community.
Things rarely go as planned. Over the years, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. I don’t make a lot of plans. Instead, I just let things happen. Sometimes it’s easier that way.
I’ve learned that our normal is a lot different than other people’s normal. I’ve also learned that that’s okay. Sometimes though, the simple things--like an accessible parking tag—is a glaring sign that my life is so much different than I ever, ever imagined it would be.
Then, I look in the rearview mirror again, and I see my son smiling back at me. At that moment, I realize that things are exactly as they should be!
After making the difficult decision to medicate your child, with time and on occasions, old symptoms return or new ones appear. Once again, you’re faced with what felt like an already-made decision - to medicate higher or more, or not.