Sunday, October 31, 2010

On Top of the Mountain

Shortly after Lauren was born, I started wishing that I could move my entire family to live in a rainforest, or the top of a mountain top, or into a small house in the middle of a rice field, or really anywhere where we could live alone in a our own bubble world, without expectations, judgement or stereotypes from society. Where Lauren could be Lauren, where she could lie around all day if she wanted to. Who cares if she couldn't sit up, who cares if she didn't want to sit up. Who cares if she wanted to lay there all day and just stare into the blue sky and white clouds. Milestones? What milestones? And what would be the rush to achieve them? We would live a carefree life, free of worries of "is she walking? is she talking? is she doing this, is she doing that?" The kids would play outside in the river or maybe they would be making igloos, and I wouldn't care about anything, just as long as they were happy. As long they were happy, as long as we were all happy, that would be all that matters.

Looking to get to this state of desired happiness has proved challenging for me at times. I've tried clearing my mind, focusing on the positives, reading self-help books (even a book entitled "The Happiness Project"...yes there really is a book entitled this and no it didn't help, well it was kind of boring so I stopped reading it), going out, talking with friends, reading blogs, not reading blogs, shopping, shopping and more shopping. Everyone else in the family is already there. Happy, go lucky, positive...those are the words I would use to describe a 3 year old, a 1 year old and Steve. I convinced myself that the only way I could be happy, would be to get away from everything....hence why living on the top of a mountain sounded so appealing. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to convince my darling husband that this was a good plan, so we've stayed put where we are and I've been on a quest for happiness back down here on earth.

This weekend I watched a few children coo and cuddle Lauren like she was the most awesome thing in this world. They didn't know about her medical background nor did they know that she has some undiagnosed vision and hearing issues or that she is delayed. They sat with her, spent time with her, tickled her, held her hands standing and tried walking with her. They talked to her like she understood what they were saying to her, they were in awe when she smiled at them, they were amazed that she could stand holding onto a couch. They asked the innocent question, "can she walk?" I answer "no". And they say "oh, ok" without a thought in their mind and go back to giving her their 100% attention. They touch and remark how tiny her feet are and how adorably cute she is. They tell me they love her, that she's so sweet. They think she is perfect. I felt like we were all on the mountain top.

And it was their interaction with her and my ability to finally "step back" and see the larger picture that hit a spot in my heart. She is perfect. On the mountain top she is perfect, so why can't she perfect down here on earth? Because we are surrounded by doctors and therapists who are treating her because something is "imperfect" about her. She is "imperfect" because the stupid milestone charts and baby books tell me so. She is "imperfect" because I constantly ask "when will she do that" or "why doesn't she do that". She is "imperfect" because of me. Because of my outlook, because of my worries, because of my desire for society's definition of perfection. She is "imperfect" because I keep looking at her in a way that is different when I look at Kayla. And could all of this, this view of Lauren being "imperfect" be at the root for my happiness quest?

There have been so many days that I dream about living on that mountain top. There have been so many days I would just close my eyes and wish that I would wake up the next morning on the top of the mountain, family and happiness hand in hand. But yesterday I realized, while watching those children enjoy Lauren and giving her their unconditional love and attention, that happiness is right here in front of me. I don't need to go to the mountain top to find it. Its right here before my eyes.

So today, I just enjoyed Lauren for who she is. No observations, no mental notes to self, no flashbacks to where she was developmentally a week ago, a month ago, 3 months ago....No stupid therapies. You don't want to crawl, then don't. You don't want to talk, then don't. You don't want to look at me or listen to me, then don't. I just enjoyed her. Played with her, made her smile. And you know what? I felt like I was on the mountain top.


  1. Kate:

    You are on the right track. As Lauren is one of us, she is just as perfect as ANYONE else. We will give her the help that she needs, if she needs them. If she develpes not according to the milesstones, so be it. She is creating her own chart for Lauren. We, all of US, loves her.
    She is soo lucky to have very loving parents and a WONDERFUL sister, she is already blessed and we all love her and treat her no different from her sister.
    Mom and I are seeing the changes she made in your family live and we are VERY happy about it. You have changed to accomodate the family requirements and we are so glad that we see Steve and you forming into a new team, a little busy but focused on the best for all.
    Have a nice day. Don't write another blog after 10om.

  2. This post brought tears to my eyes. :) LOVE it. So, so true. I can't tell you how often I have wanted to escape & forget about people,doctors, and therapies. This whole journey is such a process...isn't it? Honestly, though, sometimes escaping to a mountaintop sounds pretty darn good. :)

  3. She is perfect in every way :). I too feel like this sometimes though. And this is my husband to the uph degree "those are the words I would use to describe a 3 year old, a 1 year old and Steve". LOL.
    *Hugs*. Reading this brought a smile to my face.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...