How Far She’s Come

It’s so easy to get lost in the downfalls of having a child with special needs. The potty training at 13, the stroller still needed, the $4000 to set up a special needs trust so she will be taken care of, the messes made, the frustrations. It’s so easy to wallow in those, to forget all of the good, to forget how far she’s come.

I pick her up from the sitter’s after school and she lights up to see me. She yells “Hi Mom!” and runs to the car. How many years did I beg and pray for her to say “mom”? How many hours did we spend working on walking and running?

She says she’s hungry and wants string cheese and crackers. She walks to the cupboard and chooses the crackers and tries to sneak Oreos. How many years did we fret that she may never be able to tell us what she wants? How many conversations did we have about her being able to just ask for simple things like crackers and cheese?

She’s frustrated by hormones or her brothers or lack of pajama time. She yells and voices her unhappiness. She has a stomachache or a sore throat and is able to tell us and ask for medicine. How many years did we worry that we’d never know she was in pain?

She treats her stuffed animals like best friends. She talks to them, she plays with them, she chooses one each night to sleep with. She loves hanging out with them, with me, with Daddy, with her brothers, with Grandma. We are her friends and she is perfectly content to just have us to play with. How many hours (even now) have I/do I spend worrying about her lack of friends? If it doesn’t seem to bother her, why does it bother me so much?

She gives us hugs, she tells us she loves us, she tells we’re beautiful and handsome and gentle and wonderful. How many years did we spend waiting for any words at all?

When I think I can’t possible do one more day, change one more pull-up, pick up one more mess, think one more depressing thought, I look at her and I remember. I remember all of the little things I hoped she would accomplish and think about just how very far she’s come.

olivia 2

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8 responses to “How Far She’s Come

  1. Olivia has accomplished so much and I am certain she will achieve a lot more in her life – she is still so young.

    Kudos to her wonderful family for the love and encouragement she gets every day. And for your insistence on trying to always find the positives Tiffany, it must make a difference xxx

  2. Your love and perseverance has made all the difference. Good job mom 🙂

  3. That’s pretty amazing progress. She’s remarkable! So is her mama.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I am very much in the “waiting for Noah” phase. I know one day he will walk, talk, let me know his needs, potty train, do basic care but it feel like sometimes it won’t happen. I really needed the mom on the other side perspective 🙂

  5. This is a beautiful post about a beautiful girl. Your honesty about the good AND the bad is why people keep coming back. Olivia is a product of your love, your perseverance, your strength and your faith in her.

  6. Bravo to both of you! Can’t wait to hear about more milestones and progress.

  7. What a beautiful post! And a great reminder to all parents to focus on the positives.

  8. You are such a good mom. I know I’ve said it before, but it is so true.

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