While the Christmas holidays have always been a time I look forward to, I must admit, I find that over the past two Christmases, I sometimes dread seeing family and friends I haven't seen in awhile. Sometimes I feel I need to catch them up on little Miss Lauren. Sometimes, there aren't any questions (not sure if that's better or worse) and I figure the way she presents herself probably speaks louder than words. Of course its always a double whammy when their little ones are doing so much more than Lauren and strides Lauren has recently taken, like holding her own cup or getting down from standing, seem so small in the grander scheme of things. In Lauren's world, they are huge steps, but in the "real" world - small potatoes. So I'll admit outright, its tough to watch Lauren's friends surpass her left, right and centre and I only presume its only getting to get tougher as she gets older. Of course, I always go back telling myself, I shouldn't compare - Lauren is genetically different, compounded with vision and hearing issues - all these other kids, including her sister Kayla, are the so-called "normal". I tell myself that over and over again, but I guess its only human nature to compare....the grass is always greener on the other side...much greener...actually the grass is gold in colour. At least that how I feel some days.
Some days I wonder if she'll ever get "there". But what and where is "there"? And maybe it doesn't matter if she gets there or not, as long as she is happy. Ever so often, I'll see an article in the paper or watch a story on tv, of a family who has a child with different needs. On Extreme Makeover House Edition, which I catch now and then - these families often not only have a special needs child(ren), but they also have housing and financial issues as well. But when I see their beautiful family portrait and here their stories of love, support, encouragement, faith and overcoming challenges bigger that what we have, it gives me strength to think that if they can do it, so can we. They have accepted what life has given them, they deal with it and they are happy.
So after reading self help books, watching a few tv episodes of shows like Parenthood, Undercover Boss, House Edition, reading articles in the newspaper, talking to family members, my note to self is:
Live one day at a time. If at the end of the night:
- I have done everything I could to make today the best day for Kayla and Lauren
- I have put forth a half decent effort to do Lauren's therapy exercises, as much as I hate doing them but know she needs them to grow and develop
- I have given Kayla the support, encouragement and praise she needs to grow up confidently and well spoken
- I have connected with Lauren, sharing some meaningful eye contact, smiles, winces, coos and laughs
- I have spent some time with Kayla and know what's on her mind, what her dreams are, what her thoughts are
- I have no regrets, no "should have done", no "could have done", no "would have done"
- Kayla and Lauren are safe, happy, healthy and know that they are loved 1000%
Then, its been a good day. And tomorrow is a new day.
And that's it. One day at a time. That's all it can be. If we call get hit by a bus tomorrow, then all that time and energy spent worrying about the future would have been such a waste. So being at peace that today has been the best day possible for my girls, helps me to get a good nights sleep.