I see your posts. You talk about how hard it is to potty train your daughter that is younger than mine. Potty training isn’t even on our radar right now, to be truthful. That’s not going to happen for at least another year or so…if we’re lucky.
I’m jealous of you.
I read your statuses. How tired you are from running from one sport to the next, then on to birthday parties. My son doesn’t play team sports because he gets too overstimulated. He doesn’t get invited to many birthday parties.
I see you at the store; you get away with people not looking twice at your kids- you don’t see that look of recognition, sometimes of pain and worse times of pity, as they notice your daughter’s extra chromosome. I see you in the malls, walking with your kids, not worried about what next sound is going to send them running in terror in the opposite direction. I see you at my other son’s basketball games walking in from the parking lot to cheer for your child, as I sit with my son who is hiding in the back of my car. His autism fills the space between.
I’m so jealous of you.
I listen as you whisper in your child’s ear. You hum songs and they respond in delight. My heart aches as realize that my daughter has never heard the sound of my whisper. That late night songs sung to comfort and every whispered, “I love you” never made it past her tiny ear canals.
The jealousy takes its place next to the ache in my heart.
You capture every milestone as they come naturally for your child. First steps. First words. I capture those, too. But they are after hours and hours of therapy, sleepless nights and drained bank accounts. You talk about goals kicked and awards won, I speak of services gained and lawsuits averted. You work for your child’s place on team. I work for my child’s place in the classroom.
I hate myself for being jealous of normal.
It’s not your fault you don’t have kids with disabilities any more than it’s my fault that I do. With my oldest, I loved meeting those milestones, and I know I bragged about them. I didn’t get it. I had no frame of reference. I didn’t realize how great it was that he developed the right muscles in the right way to sit, crawl then walk. I didn’t get with my other typical developing child how great it was that speech set in naturally without us having to painstakingly draw out language, bit by bit, sign by sign and sound by sound.
And I’m sure I don’t realize how lucky I am to have an autistic son who can talk, and a daughter with Down syndrome who can hear as much as she does, and is doing as well as she is.
Jealousy is a worthless emotion. Even if it pushes you to do more or be more, you’re not doing it for the right reasons. I fight this jealousy. And, on days like today, I lose.
I’m jealous of you.