Monday, November 7, 2011

A Different Sort of Marathon

Yesterday, while top athletes who had traveled to my fair city from around the world ran 26.2 miles?

I… got out of BED!!!!

I… took off the PJs I had been wearing for 36 hours straight and GOT DRESSED!

I… FED my kids!

I… LEFT THE HOUSE to take Jacob to Hebrew School (the new pilot Special Ed inclusion program our synagogue started JUST FOR HIM – more on that soon) and got him there ON TIME! (Well, almost – only 3 minutes late, a world record.)

I may not be running in THE marathon, but I am running a sort of marathon in my life. The kind each and every special needs parent out there knows down to their bones. (And many plain old garden variety parents do, too.)

It’s the slogging through the day-in-and-day-out of caring for and about our special kids. It’s all that we do when we’re with them (talking and playing and supporting and scaffolding and watching and pushing them gently and coaching and coaching and coaching and holding our frustrations in check, smiling when we want to yell or sob; and, for some of us, taking care of their every physical need even though they have not been an infant for a decade or more; and, for some of us, wrapping our arms and legs around them tightly, enduring bruises and worse until the storm passes so they don't injure themselves or their siblings.)

And it's all that we do when we’re not with them (phone calls and meetings and research and more phone calls and strategizing and worrying and IEP meetings and phone calls to lawyers and more research and reports to read and reports to write and applications to fill out that make us weep as we list for the thousandth time all the milestones our kids missed and when we first noticed they were different and what we did about it.)

On a day like yesterday, when herculean feats are being celebrated all over the city, it's easy for me to slip into negative judgements of myself and my lack of lofty achievements.

I have been slipping in and out of a low level depression since last winter; some days, weeks, months closer to the light, others falling into shadow's embrace.

I need to go gentle with myself. To remember that getting out of bed and showering CAN be herculean in itself, when the tug to just disappear under the covers is strong and seductive.

My marathon is different, not less, than the one those glorious beings ran through the streets of New York yesterday.

And I need to run it every day.

And possibly for the rest of my life, if Jacob is never ready to launch.

And I am a different sort of champion.

And this can be enough.

For me, enough.

I am linking this post up to Be Enough Me Mondays over at the wonderful Just. Be. Enough.

Looking for comments? To read or leave a comment, click on THIS post's title, or HERE, to bring you to the post's page view. Comments should appear below.