I was looking at Lauren the other day and was transfixed by her. She's a wonderful kid that I wouldn't trade for 100 other kids but life with her is hard. Really hard. Just for that moment I thought about what life would have been like if she hadn't been born with "enhanced" chromosomes.
I would still have very little idea what an OT does. (My best friend is an OT but it wasn't until Lauren that I got what she did).
I wouldn't be up for the day at 1:00 am because she can't sleep.
If I had a question about development, I could go to a child development book and have some point of reference.
I wouldn't have to translate Laurenese to English.
I could just send her on to 1st grade without agonizing over that decision.
I wouldn't have to go to MFE/IEP meetings.
Bob wouldn't be driving her to summer school this week.
I would lack the compassion that I now have. I never assume that a child throwing a temper tantrum is just being a "brat". I realize that just like the world doesn't know my entire story, I don't know the world's story.
I wouldn't be able to fight the insurance company like my life depends on it because in many ways it does.
I wouldn't be able to "fire" a doctor who is not a good match for us.
I would still be assuming that special needs kids happen to "other" people.
I would be watching Lauren read and write.
I could relax at Girl Scouts, playing with other kids, interacting with other kids. I have this constant need to explain Lauren so people don't think I'm a bad mom.
I wouldn't rejoice that my other kids did something; I would be fixated on when they did it.
I wouldn't agonize over my choice of drugs for Lauren. It never fails to shock me that I was giving my child a narcotic at 4 years old. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I wouldn't have a 6 year old that bites her sister.
I would be able to think of her future in a clear linear path. She'll graduate, go to college, get married. Now I wonder if she'll be 30 years old living with me. Is a group home our biggest goal?
I wouldn't have met so many fascinating people in this community of special needs.
I would be able to let Lauren go to a birthday party without panicking.
I wouldn't have the compassionate girl I have.
Just for a moment, I look and I wonder. I've come to accept and love the life I have but just for a moment, I wonder about the life I might have had.