My friend Holly commented recently that she’s noticed that it’s the wrong parents who are questioning their parenting skills. That got me thinking…
I’ll never be a good enough parent and I’ll sure as hell never be a great one and I don’t want to be. It’s this feeling of having to try 10 times as hard just to barely keep up that motivates me to do the things I do with Monkey. It’s what keeps me searching for new ways to help him, for new ways to make his life better, for new ways to make him more like the other kids.
If I were a good parent or, dog forbid, a great one, I could coast. I could sit here at my keyboard and drone on and on about all the amazing things I do. I could sit here and type endlessly about all the amazing things Monkey does and just ignore all the strange or annoying things he does that make him stand out as being not quite right…things that make him not quite fit in. I don’t want that…ever.
I’ve said before that we’re big picture people. We want Monkey to have it all, not just right now when he’s 6 and we can control what that means to a large extent. We want him to have it all when he’s 16, when he’s 26, when he’s 66. I don’t just want him to not be picked on, I want him to be a part of life.
I’m going to assume that each and everyone of you knew someone with a disability when you were growing up. I’m also going to assume that you said nice things to this person in the halls, that you never picked on them or laughed at them or left them out of activities, OK? Now, can you tell me where that person is right now? Where they live? If anyone ever invites them to a movie or to just hang out? What about one of your non-disabled friends from when you were growing up? Right.
Until we get to the point when Monkey is 20-something, in college or living on his own and still hanging with his peeps on occasion (because, really, the boy had better be working hard at whatever he’s doing, it’s not all play-time my friends!) I’ll never consider myself to have done a good enough job. If beating myself up and constantly feeling like I should have done more or done things differently is what it will take, then that’s OK.
I can take it and the pay-off will be monumental.