Friday, March 23, 2012

Confession

A few days ago, I got the following picture message from Sammie B's nanny:


I immediately smiled and my heart just swelled with joy and pride. Do you see her standing there? Playing with that steering wheel with one hand and just supporting herself with her two little legs and ONE hand/arm? Amazement. Wonder. She makes me so, so proud.

And, just a couple hours later, B sent me this picture message:


I immediately smiled and my heart just swelled with joy and pride. Do you see her standing there? Playing with that toy with one hand and just supporting herself with her two little legs and ONE hand/arm? Amazement. Wonder. She makes me so, so proud.

And just as that joy crept in, I felt sadness. Sadness looking at five-month-old Mia just standing there with ease. A sadness for my other girl. My big girl. I let sadness that these things are SO hard for Sammie B taint a moment that was Mia's. NOTHING physical has "just happened" for my Sammie B. She's worked hard for every single inchstone and I hate that she's had to. Hate it.

And, now, with Mia, we are in uncharted territory. She rolled (both ways) for her first time this month, and with little fanfare. One second she was on her back, and the next, her stomach. One second she was on her stomach, and the next, her back. Sam rolled for the first time at one year old, after six months of physical therapy. Dammit. Why her? Why does it have to be so hard for her? I'd give ANYTHING to make it a bit easier. If love were enough to make it so, this little girl would -- no doubt -- know an easiness she hasn't yet gotten to know.

[The first roll DID, however, happen after we'd asked Sammie B to show Mia how to roll, so we told Sammie B that she taught Mia to roll. I'd turned my back and turned back around and Mia had rolled. I said to Sammie B, "did you help her or did she just do it?" and she said, "She just did it!" and then immediately Sammie B broke into applause saying "Yeah Mia!!!!" It was an exciting family moment, indeed, and I hate that I let any amount of sadness taint it].

I don't want these Mia moments -- moments that are just hers -- to be tainted with sadness that things are so stinking hard for Sam. Tainted by this sort of wistful thinking that I JUST WISH I COULD MAKE THINGS EASIER FOR SAM. That's not fair to Mia, and I KNOW that (as I feel these things, and as I type them, the guilt is so very, very intense).

A very wise friend (you know who you are, Kristen!) told me to try to get rid of the "this should have been easier for Sam" thinking (which will just taint my joy in the simple moments every.single.time) and just really and truly focus on who each girl is. Both are magic. Both are perfection. Both are individuals. Magic, amazing little individuals with their own destinies. Their own stories.

I'm slowly, deliberately working on me. Working on the way I react to these moments. Working on letting myself JUST feel the joy. JUST let these moments be theirs and theirs alone.

See, my pride and joy isn't any less because the smilestones may be different or come at different ages. I will continue to be amazed as I watch each of them, taking nothing for granted (surely, that's a lesson my big girl has taught us well).

But I find myself fearful that soon, Sammie B will realize that things are easier for Mia. I worry how that will make her feel and thinking about that hurts my heart, and then I immediately remind myself to not borrow worries from another day. To prepare the child for the path, because I can't (as much as I might like to) prepare either girl's path for her.

I am a work in progress.

To each of my girls -- you amaze me. I love you JUST AS YOU ARE. You are wonderful and amazing and magic. Just for being you. Your "tada" moments are yours and yours alone, and we will celebrate them all . . . big and small . . . as a family. Every time. You deserve no less, my girls. Be patient with your mama, for I am not perfect. I love you both to the moon and back.

4 comments:

Cristina said...

This hits very close to home. Victoria has surpassed all of Bertrand's physical milestones. The first few big ones were VERY hard on me. But it got easier. I promise. Now, I am that obnoxious proud parent--for BOTH my amazing kids. :) That's why I had to modify my blog. I never want Victoria to think that she is less important or wonderful to me. And Bertrand? He knows he is the man. He doesn't mind his sister's abilities at all. In fact, he manipulates her ALL THE TIME. Elmo video ended? Shake the iPad so Victoria will come over and turn it on. Toy is too far away? Make noise so Victoria will pick it up and then snatch it from her (he may not have much control but he is STRONG). Sammie B is a smart cookie! Mia will be her minion in no time. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so honest. Just...thank you.

GingerB said...

I agree with Cristina - Sammie B will make a minion out of her sister. My elder daughter gets a lot of value out of getting the younger to do her bidding.

You wrote "I'm slowly, deliberately working on me. Working on the way I react to these moments. Working on letting myself JUST feel the joy. JUST let these moments be theirs and theirs alone."

As to guilt and mom feelings - I feel for you honey. I am giving up being incredibly strong all the time (or I want to act as if I am) and will finally actually see a counselor to try to sort out some of these feelings and reactions. I've not yet felt I had the time to spend on me and really I still don't but I now suspect that I must do this or risk affecting both girls in a bad way. Well child vs. child with issues, and vice versa, and am I responding correctly and evenly, and how do I explain why medicines are needed, and OT and PT and on and on and on . . . if you find out any insights for free or without spending significant time, please tell.


Both are beautiful, by the way!

Proto Attorney said...

It totally sucks that she has to work so hard to do things that other kids without physical delays don't have to, and how hard it must be as a parent to watch your child struggle. But you know, because she works so hard to do those things, it's that much more magical. Each new accomplishment is special, amazing, and beautiful. Sam learning to walk is an amazing testament to her strength, and yours. And she is clearly determined to get there!

What lovely little ladies!