Monday, August 29, 2016

The Guilt of Growing Up

Cleaning buddies are the best!
As D-Day (that would be Diagnosis Day) approaches, I find myself reflecting a lot on the past year.  I've read some of my previous posts and hurt all over again for where I was and what I was feeling on those bad days.  I've counted my blessings.  I've thanked my stars.

In one week, I'll have a middle schooler.  In two weeks, I'll have a preschooler.  In that time, I'll be left with only one little one here at home with me, one who has never really gotten one on one time with mom.  I keep thinking to myself....what will I DO?!  More laundry?  SOME laundry?  Maybe it'll actually regularly make it into the dryer!

I keep looking for opportunities online to take Squeaky to things that I've always wanted to take him to, but couldn't, because Tiny gets so overloaded.  Things like storytime where they -- GASP -- sing songs!  Tiny screams and covers his ears when people sing, but Squeaky stands up, claps, dances, and tries to sing too.  Things like the petting zoo, where I have no doubt at all that Squeaky will do that cry-and-pet thing he does when he's afraid but really, really wants to try.  Things like apple picking, which is just too hard all on my own with two little people running in opposite directions.

For once...I feel like there's freedom on my horizon.  It feels like warm sunshine on my skin after a month of rain.  It feels like the smell of cinnamon and chocolate spinning in the air as cookies bake.  It feels like the lift you get off a trampoline on the rebound, soaring high into the air before plummeting back toward the elastic.

It. Feels. Indescribable.

And then I feel guilty, because the only way to achieve this is to put Tiny in a developmental preschool, because his brain is broken.  I feel bad for feeling SO GOOD.  But even that three hours a day, four days a week feels like heaven after the slog and burn of being so trapped at home for three years.

I try to console myself... the last three years weren't ALL bad.  There were a few rays of light among the dark clouds as they rumbled and grumbled by.  Hell, prior to D-Day, except on the topic of sleeping, I was fantastically happy as a new mom.  It was hard, but at least I was happy.  I remind myself of a few things:

  1. I've done everything I can think of, everything I've researched, and everything I could do to get my child all the help he needs.
  2. I've done my best to be fair and kind.
  3. I've tried to remember that I also have two other kids, and treat them appropriately, even when I'm having a rough day.
  4. My kids are happy, (mostly) healthy, (mostly) clean, well-fed, clothed, and loved.  And that's what matters.
  5. ...All kids go to school eventually...  And many mothers with only NT kids rejoice just as I have.
So as I tick things off the back to school list for my TWO school-aged kids, I try to tamp down the guilt that hugs hotly around the base of my neck.  My mantra lately is, "I'm doing the best I can.  I've done the best I can.  I will do the best I can."  Still, even though I was adamant that Tiny needed to get to school for all the great things it will bring him, I know that as the day approaches, my doubt and guilt and desire to keep him home mounts.

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