When Olivia was a baby, I remember seeing older kids with special needs and trying my best not to stare. At that point in her life, Olivia’s needs were not obvious and I would have just been another gawker staring at a child who was different. But what I really wanted to do was go over to the mother, grab her hand and beg her to tell me that it was going to be ok. Plea with her to tell me how she did it. Ask her she and her family were happy and joyful. I just wanted to look in her eyes because I was suer I would see my future there. I wanted to examine the child too. Was he or she happy? Did he have friends? There were so many questions that I was yearning to ask someone who had been there. Even if it was a stranger.
The other day, as I was waiting to pick Olivia up from her weekly therapy camp, I found myself standing in a group of parents of children with special needs. The ages of the kids range from toddlers all the way up to…Olivia. I sat there realizing that I’m that Mom. I’m the Mom who has made it. I’m the Mom that the other Moms want to question. I’ve survived the toddler years, the beginning uncertainty, the land of the unsure. I’ve arrived at the age where I know.
I know that it will be ok.
I know that it’s not a constant struggle.
I know that life is pretty normal, all things considered.
I know that there is so much more joy than I ever thought possible.
I know that Olivia is happy.
I know that Olivia is loved.
I know that we’re all going to be ok.
I feel as though I should wear a t-shirt that says “You can ask, it’s ok.” or something along those lines so that the new Moms would know they could come look into my eyes and see. But, for now, I’ll just have to keep sharing on here in hopes that one new Mom out there will be comforted.