The topic of Ideal vs. Reality resonates with me. Because. Well. I’ve always been a sucker for Truth. Transparency. Get Real-ish-ness. It’s so easy to be Fake. Ya know. Especially in blog-land. Where smoke & mirrors of limited scope can make things appear either more perfect or less than they really are.
Not so long ago I had a cute email dialogue with another homeschooling mom. She’d stumbled on my (dirty little secret) blog and rather than encourage her…she found herself feeling discouraged. Everything seemed so tidy. I appeared to be so organized. Very June Cleaver. (which couldn’t be farther from the reality! I haven’t worn a skirt in years. Wink.) Her husband noticed the dismay on her face and asked why so sad. She spilled her guts about how so many other moms are so put together and she’s struggling just to make it day by day. He comforted her while looking at some pictures I’d posted (which are only tidy because I’d successfully threatened the kids into submission until the photo shoot was complete) and said something along the lines of ,
“Yeah, well, she’s not mom to a Special Needs child”.
(it’s important to note, they have a daughter with significant special needs as well)
Of course she then clicked Trevy’s delicious face which brought her here!
Ohhhhhhh…how we cyber laughed together! It really was funny. In that morbid Special Needs Mommy kinda way. But it also reminded me how easily things can appear to be what they’re not. And I never ever want to leave the impression that I’m more than I am. With all my Backyard Therapy ideas and cutsie happy smiley pictures.
I confessed in a post over there yesterday how I’m only just now beginning to feel like my feet are back under me again. These past four years have been about survival. And we all survive in our own unique ways. Feeling like I’m pouring myself into something meaningful (be it African children…Special Needs…or my own) makes me feel vital. You know…homeschooling…backyard therapy-ing… That’s how I’m surviving. But I worry that it’s portrayal here can be misleading.
Wishful Thinking: I would be dressed (in something other than sweats), teeth brushed, hair done, heck maybe even slap on some make-up and be ready to face the well-planned-out day by 8am. 9 at the latest.
Reality Check: It’s not uncommon for Jonathan to find me in the same jammies I was wearing that morning as he left for work. My teeth may or may not have been brushed. My hair which looks SO much cuter short, is long for the express purpose of being pulled back into a clip. And I often forget what’s on the day’s agenda…sometimes to the point of missing appointments altogether! Like Trevy’s kidney ultrasound a few weeks ago. Ooops. Oh…and when Jonathan calls on his way home from work he no longer asks what’s for dinner but rather what sounds good for dinner. Because chances are…he’ll be picking it up along the way!
Wishful Thinking: Trevy would have been plugged into weekly outpatient OT & PT a year ago. All of his specialists recommend it.
Reality Check: I have put off making those appointments for months. Months. Because one more thing feels like one more thing too much. And somehow the idea of organizing a local Special Olympics group is easier than schlepping thirty minutes one-way to appointments with specialists which rarely jive with my schedule. I’m kinda counting on this SO thing to meet those outpatient therapy needs?
Wishful Thinking: We would see his neurologist every three months.
Reality Check: I cancelled the last one (July) because I was soooooo tired and didn’t feel like making the schlep to Boston. It’s still on my to-do list to reschedule. Bonus Confession: I have made the trek to Boston by myself. I’m a scaredy cat and always successfully guilt trip Jonathan into taking a day to come with me.
Wishful Thinking: I would work on specific things with Trevy for 30 minutes daily until he showed mastery in them.
Reailty Check: If he seems content with the iPad…why bother him?
Wishful Thinking: I would carve out solo time for Toby & Bristel individually. So they know they’re special too.
Reality Check: We have maybe gone out on mommy dates 2-4 times over the last four years. But mostly, I let them snuggle me (one on each side) while we veg out with some tv show or another at night and hope to God that it’s enough to chase away any bitterness of being sibling to a Special Needs brother that might try to invade their little hearts.
And the list goes on. And on. And ooooooooon!
There are so many ways I cut corners. Cheat. Or maybe it’s just living honest and not cheating or cutting corners at all?
If you’re a Wishful Thinker too…now’s the time to confess. While you have company! Wink.