Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Today, it's all about me

That's right--me.  Dana.  (aka "the mom"  aka "Maya's mom") 

Ellen of Love That Max asked me a little while back if I'd be interested in writing something for a guest series she's running this week, entitled "This Is How I Do It" . . . and despite not really knowing how I do it, or what "it" even is, I jumped at the chance.  (I've never done a guest post before, and I felt almost like a real writer.  Almost.) 

She sent a list of questions---not about Maya, just about me---and it was fun to come up with the answers and share a little bit more about myself, the things that keep me going, and why I rock (her words, not mine). 

My post is running today---head on over here and check it out!***  While you're there, check out the others in the series, which started on Monday and will end Friday. 

***My favorite question was the last one, so if your attention span is feeling short tonight, skip to the end and read "I rock because . . ." first.

And since we're talking about me, here are two pictures from Christmas morning (the others will arrive someday, after I upload and edit all 7 million of them):

My two favorite things on Christmas morning . . . Maya and my new scanner.

This thing is going to change my life into a mostly paperless existence.  You know, once I get it out of the box, install it, and start using it. 

PS.  If you're new here today, popping in care of Love That Max, welcome :)  You may want to swing up to the "If you're new here" tab to get the lay of the land. 



Chrissy said...

Hi Dana,

I read your blog post on Love That Max today, and it really resonated with me. Your writing is always awesome, but tonight, your entire post, specifically the "how I deal" part, and the "why I rock" parts, Helped me in a roundabout way.

My daughter is three, like Maya, and is nonverbal, due to autism. She's in preschool, she's been in early intervention, we've done everything we could for her and then some, and she IS making strides. But she's still not "there", and tonight, for a variety of reasons, it just came down on me again. And I cried. A lot. 

And? It helped. 

It always does. But I never feel comfortable admitting that I cry to anyone, because it's seen as being weak in the face of adversity. It's seen as a translation of shame.

I am not ashamed. Never. Not even for one minute. Not even one nanosecond.

But so much of the act of crying is tied into negativity, and human instinct is to eliminate the needs for crying, when, you know what, you just need to blow a big ol bunch of tears out of your eyeballs sometimes to get anywhere in your life.

No one gets it. No one, at least, unless they are there or have been there, here, in this place. And when people ask me, "how do you do it all?" I never feel comfortable saying, "I cry. A lot." it's not seen as an acceptable answer; it's not seen as strong. (side note: while it's neither here nor there, when I was seeing my obgyn because I had symptoms of postpartum depression, a very uneducated nurse assistant told me i had to "stop crying all the time and be strong for your daughter like you're supposed to be" because "that's what mothers have to do." it's a completely different situation entirely, but I feel like that same attitude permeates the special needs mom world, as we are seen by the outside, typical world. Does that even make sense?) 


I cry. A lot. And I do feel better afterwards. I usually envision the worst case scenario, like you do, and cry about it, and most of the time. Even if it doesn't get resolved, I do feel exorcised of the emotional intensity. You're completely right, life's not fair. It's not fair to have a special needs kid that steuggles so hard to do what is natural to other kids. It doesn't get any less "not fair". You just get used to it. 

We are advocates for the transparency of whatever struggles our children deal with, to teach understanding, love, and equality to society, but at the same time, we need to advocate for ourselves, for OUR struggles and how WE, as parents, handle them. And, just like our kids are the same deep down as typical kids, whatever way we handle them (unless it's, like, shooting nuns off the rooftops while high on crystal meth and mushrooms) should be OK, too.

So thank you. Thank you for your transparency and honesty in how YOU deal with things. Because with your honesty, we all come a little closer to the world understanding our kids' worlds, as well as the world we have created for them, and for us. And because of you being strong enough to say you still cry, you will continue to cry, and it helps, I can do the same thing. It sounds insignificant, it sounds silly, but your post will help me be a part of Criers Anonymous, without the anonymous part: hi, my name is Chrissy and how do I deal with Cassie's autism? I sob, with snot dripping down my face every now and then. Then I suck it up and go on. The end."

So yea, thanks. Disclaimer: this whole post was written after eating 3 slices of pizza, so if it is completely crazified and rambl-y, blame it on that. ;-)

Chrissy said...

Sorry - I left the wrong web address in my comment! My bad!

It's Sorry!


nancy said...

I am here from love that max as well. My kiddo is six. recently we had that break down and will be sharing your Holland Airport story. Life is NOT what it is suppose to be for sure! I have you on reader now!! So excited to get to know you

Kristina Sorenson said...

I'm so glad that Ellen had you as a guest blogger. I have a daughter with an undiagnosed genetic syndrome. I immediately felt a connection to you because not many people know what it is like to not know what causes their childs disability. I love your blog and will most certainly be reading it faithfully from now on. Thanks for all your great information.

Ellen Seidman said...

Hey, Dana! We are back from vacation, which sucks, and I'm just catching up on blogs, which is fun—so thanks for making my return to reality less suck-y. I am glad you guys had good holidays! Thanks again for the awesome guest post.

Dana said...

Chrissy, crying is great. I'm not ashamed to admit to crying (I'm not ashamed to admit to much of anything, in writing) but it's definitely harder to talk about in person. While I'm an open person, it's mostly open-in-theory . . . like, I'm willing to discuss anything, but don't actually initiate a lot of conversations in real life. It would be hard to talk with another person about how I was crying at night, because I would be uncomfortable with them trying to comfort me (like, cool it, I don't need your pity) and they would be uncomfortable not trying to comfort me. Writing about it is much easier. Then I can vent, people can read and know, and we don't have to deal with any sort of awkwardness in the response :)

Thanks for taking the time to write such a great response and share in the crying sisterhood.

Miracles Happen & Kristina-Welcome! Thanks for coming by :)