Roller coasters terrify me. I mean I can’t even think of being on one and immediately my palms begin to sweat, my stomach becomes noxious and my heart feels like its going to beat out of my chest. The mere thought of being propelled at a ridiculous speed down a rickety track and then suddenly dropped to a death defying plunge, to then be ripped back up into the atmosphere, twisted and turned in every direction….well, let’s just say…you would NEVER get me on a roller coaster in a million years!
Or, so I thought.
Funny how the Universe works….
The day Olivia was born, our ride began. We sat in that proverbial seat, locked the bar into place and began the journey down the rickety track. I thank God everyday, we didn’t have to face this journey alone, we had each other.
Being parents to a child with special needs, feels every bit like riding a roller coaster. You have genuine fear, not for yourself, but for your child. The fear of the unknown…fear for their health, fear for their future, and fear for their acceptance.
You rely on each other for strength and support, through the highs and lows. Sometimes that proverbial ride can reach a high, that puts you in a state of elation. You feel so much hope and joy and feel as if everything will be fine. Then suddenly, as quick and unexpectedly, the high is no more. You have just been thrust into a death defying drop…your heart sinks and everything around you is moving so quickly, you can’t see where the drop stops. All that gets you through is hope. You know circumstances are out of your control, but you can control how you feel in that moment. You feel hopeful…and what drives that hope are the moments that first developed it. The first time your child smiled at you, when before that moment, months before that moment, your child struggled to produce a smile; or the moment you were told they would never walk, and after months of therapy and months of enthusiastically motivating them, through some miracle, you witness their slow and unsteady, yet methodically thought out step!
Like I said before, I absolutely hate roller coasters, however this ride is an exception. Yes, there were times that truly tested my courage, but taught me to be a stronger mother. I am thrilled we were chosen to be apart of this ride, because folks…it’s AWESOME!