Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good Stuff

Though I'm not terribly religious, I am a big believer in the "everything happens for a reason" hippie/new age-y school of thought. So here are some signs that tell me our experience of having a son with Fragile X syndrome is meant to be:
  • I've never been motivated by money, but I am very motivated by achievement, particularly scholarly achievement. It is a large part of what I thought made life meaningful and fulfilling. I feel confident that Quinn will have a very fulfilling and meaningful life, both in his subjective experience and in his impact on others, even though it is unlikely that his greatest achievements will be scholarly. Every day he is turning my worldview upside-down, and I think that is a very good thing.
  • I am a social work researcher who had never sat in a public social service waiting room before, had never been a client of a social service agency, had never had to fill out pages and pages of nonsensical social service forms before. Now I have, and that gives me a new perspective in my work. When I practiced social work, I imagined I was sympathetic and compassionate, and though I did my best to be, now I know I had no idea how my clients felt. I hope this will make me a better social work researcher and teacher.
  • I have already met so many wonderful, knowledgeable, dedicated, strong, wise people - early intervention therapists, teachers, doctors, other parents of kids with special needs - and we are just beginning this journey. My life is richer because of the people I have met through this experience.
  • It is sad to let go of the image of the child I thought I was going to have, but also liberating. I enjoy my little guy just as he is, and hope I will continue to do so. Like all parents, I have no other choice than to accept and love my son for who he is, but I think the process of accepting your children for who they really are may be accelerated for parents of children with special needs.

2 comments:

The Other Lion said...

I really like this post, and I am especially appreciative of your comments about social work. Working at the school I do and meeting some of the families has given me the same sort of realizations. That, along with nonsensical paperwork, as made me a person with a much wider view of the world.

Vicki Davis said...

I also really enjoyed this post.. it makes you think.