Saturday, January 10, 2009


About a year after I had Buddy, my friend Elaine got pregnant with her 2nd child. Late in her pregnancy she discovered that there was something different with the baby. The legs were too short, and I think there were other "differences". This started a flurry of activity. More sonograms were done, research was done, and finally the drs. said the baby had a form of dwarfism. The form they feared she had was one that would not allow the baby to live much past her 1st birthday. Elaine, who had done her own research as she is in the medical field herself, was devastated. This news absolutely turned Elaine's world upside down, topsy turvy. She became incredibly depressed, not getting out of bed, not eating and becoming extremely lethargic. The drs. finally had to go in and take the baby because Elaine simply could not sustain the baby. She was beautiful. Yes, her legs seemed short and crooked, but she was "normal" looking. Inside the bones were telling a different story. The drs.' diagnoses changed every time they saw her. It was a difficult time in Elaine's home and heart. When talking she said something that has stuck with me. She said that she had to change the picture in her head. She and her husband were very active people. The picture she had was her family of four going on bike rides and hikes together. But now that picture would have to change. Her dreams for this child would not look like the ones she had in her head when she was first pregnant.

I had just gone through a year of almost losing my first child and not even really beginning to dream for him. And within a year of Elaine's pregnancy, I gave birth to a daughter with a vascular disease that affected her face. My dreams for my daughter were dramatically changed.

This is not unique to me or Elaine. My friend, Joy, has also experienced this shift in our dreams. She has even written a book about that process, Involuntary Joy. But now that I am in the company of parents with teens, I am realizing that although many parents were able to keep their dreams intact to this point, they are now having to let them go now.

When our children begin to become independent beings and able to make choices that can alter their futures, our dreams are often shattered. Many is the parent whose child chose drugs and ended up in jail, dead, or lost from the family. Many is the parent whose child chose a lifestyle opposite of the parents' and is now not willing to come "home". Many is the parent whose child chose to drink and drive and ended of losing their child to death or the prison system. You get the idea.

I am not even sure that we are aware of these dreams we have for our children until we see them not realized. I think we all want our children to grow up to be independent, contributing members of society and to really know love in their lives. I think without realizing it, we predetermine the path to this outcome. But our children often surprise us by taking different paths. We fear this path will not lead to the same outcome but it often does.

We have to let go. We have to trust. We have to simply love.

This post is somewhat disjointed as are my thoughts this morning. I am standing in a place where I have done all I can as a parent. At least all the teaching I can do. Now it is time to let go, trust, and love him. The rest is up to him and God. this keeps coming back to bite me in the ass!!!!!

Til next time,
Mrs. M

1 comment:

Joy said...

Wonderful! I've been too busy to read your blog lately. Trying to catch up. How is your friend's daughter today?