Today I made the goal that I WOULD post today. I wrote it on my status update that I was going to blog after Abby’s six month review, which I knew wasn’t going to be fantastic. In my brain I composed the beginning of this post. Several beginnings, as I usually do. I was rushing around trying to make my house not look like it was growing and moving with lifeforms unknown and thinking about stories I wanted to share. I wanted to tell you about the Imagine Autism Walk yesterday and how proud I am of my son for LOVING his autism. A post to end Autism Awareness month. Then I started braintinkering with a post about Listen To Your Mother- a show I’m in this Saturday. How I am in awe of the amazing women I’ve been able to meet because of it. How I’m learning to come out of my own shell blah blah blah blah. Then I started thinking about the shit that has gone down in the last week in the autism and Down syndrome communities and wanted to write a hard hitting angry piece. Just as I started to REALLY steam the doorbell rang for Speech Therapy for Abby followed by her six month review. I promised myself that one of those posts would get written before the day was over.
A review is when you sit around and talk about all of the fantastic gains your child has made in the last six months. You make new goals that your child will not only master, but far surpass in the next six months. Except, I knew going in, this wasn’t going to be that meeting. I knew her speech had stagnated. Abby doesn’t talk. She DOES communicate, but she really doesn’t have many words, and those are rarely heard. She’s said “mom” but has never called me that. I want her to call me mom. I want it so much. We started with Speech. No surprises. We moved to occupational therapy. Surprise. Goals not met. We moved to physical therapy. Surprised again. Goals not met. We moved to feeding. Those weren’t met either.
None. None of her goals were met. We wrote the same plan over again. Same goals. It’s not to say that she hasn’t made progress. She has. It’s just slow. I called Lance and ugly cried while I ate a block of packaged meat. I’m not sure why I’m telling you that part. I was pretty messy. I just straight up chomped into it instead of eating it by the slice on something like bread or in a salad. I felt myself slowly climbing back into my Motherhood Box of Shame that I’ve worked like crazy to get out of. That it was MY fault for not pushing her harder. For working harder with her. He said, “It’s hard for me to feel like we need to push her harder. Sure, we want her to progress, but she’s so much more than can be quantified on an evaluation. She’s so much more than what she can’t do. On top of that, she’s got so much to her that can’t be taught, and I don’t want to take any bit of that from her in the race for goals.” He reminded me of what the last six months have been like for Abby. She’s been really sick. Correction, she’s been patient, upbeat and strong while she was really sick. She’s had surgery that she just barely stopped having nose bleeds from. Correction, she had multiple surgeries all at once, and was up and walking and laughing the next day even though she wasn’t feeling great. She dances through the same kind of allergies that make me feel like a very hateful zombie. She’s amazing. Talking will come. Motor skills will improve. It isn’t a race. She’ll get there in her own time. In the meantime, she is herself. She’s confident and stubborn and spirited and wonderful. That’s stuff that can’t be taught.
I did not meet my goal of writing a blog about Autism, Listen to Your Mother, or anger. Things change. I’m glad they do. I sat down earlier to find that a lot of people had commented on my status with words of support and love for me and Abby and how they’ve had times where there wasn’t progress. I cried as I felt such love from people I’ve never met.
My goal wasn’t met. Neither were Abby’s. Life got in the way. But at the end of the day, I’m so grateful that it did.