Not that long ago, my husband gave me his honest feedback about my blog. "It's good," he said -- followed by an unexpected and awkward pause. "But, sometimes I feel like you really focus heavily on just the bright spots in your day. You don't often talk about how rough it is."
I took a deep breath to let his words sink in -- just the bright spots.
Am I being entirely honest and open about the dark places I've been to on this journey? Am I making it all sound too easy, too perfect? Is what I'm writing a fair and accurate depiction of what I'm living and of who I am?
I want it to be. I think it has been.
But the last thing I want to do is give the impression that I have it all together, that I never fail, that I have no regrets -- that would be a lie.
Some days stink -- they super stink. Some days stink so bad, that all I want to do is lock myself up in a room and hide. This rarely happens because my kids could easily and successfully lead a search and rescue mission. They always find me. Other days stink bad enough that I consume my worries and fears alongside a gallon of ice cream. This happens more than I want to admit. Yes, some days are downright, hands down stinky.
I agonize over my daughter's future. I cry over IEP notices, and I sob when I see her broken down into percents on assessments. I remind myself that, "She's more than a number" -- over and over again. Yes, sometimes even numbers hurt the heart.
I compare my daughter to her typically developing peers. I watch other kids run up the playground steps unassisted, and I let jealousy and disappointment run rampant. I tell myself that, "She will do things when she is ready." At night, I cry at the potential that she may never be "ready."
I question if I'm giving enough of myself. I feel that I fail some days at helping her reach all of her therapy goals. Some mornings, I skip making her walk down the stairs herself -- because I'm tired, because my hands are full, because carrying her down the stairs will be easier. I sometimes wish I was anywhere but on the floor at Target, next to my daughter, who is throwing an epic tantrum. I want to run -- but I can't. I feel guilt because sometimes, I'm too lazy, too exhausted, too self-centered. I hate myself on those days.
I fear I'm giving too much. My mind is numb from too many doctor's appointments and not enough rest. My heart heavy from searching for a diagnosis and never finding one. I have bruises and scratches and bite marks and a sore back -- a reminder of what I give daily. I cry when she hits me. Not because it hurts -- although it does -- but because there is nothing I can do to help her. And I feel helpless too.
And just when I feel like I'm about to drown in a misery that only comparison and worry and fear can bring, someone always steps in. My bright spots show up: Our amazingly loving and supportive PT and OT and my understanding and compassionate friends and family. They give me the reality check that I so desperately need sometimes. They lead me back to the "sunny side of the street." They make me laugh and smile. They give me the boost of confidence that I need to get through whatever I am facing. They help me refocus on what really matters, and they remind that:
There are no guarantees in life.
There are good moments in a bad minute.
Sometimes it's okay to take time to replenish myself.
Love is a lesson in sacrifice.
I've had my fair share of dark moments and despair on this journey, and in admitting this, I must acknowledge the people above, who have always been willing to share a little bit of their sunshine with me.
My husband wonders why my writings are filled with bright spots. And he's not entirely wrong. It's just because it is hard to stay in the shade when I'm surrounded by so much sunshine.