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!