Monday, October 7, 2013

Don't sweat the small stuff

It has been a journey of self discovery and reflection these past 6 years.  I have learned that days come and go despite the trials that we face.  I've learned that it is selfish to dwell on things that cannot be changed.  I've learned that my greatest gift is a child that deserves a positive, proactive mother.

I used to sweat the small stuff.  As a student, I worried about making good grades.  As a coach, I worried about my team winning the "big" game against our rivals.  As a nurse, I worried about picking up extra shifts to please co-workers.   As a woman, I worried about weight and physical appearance.  Why was I so concerned with things?   It amuses me now that I wasted so much "worry time" on such insignificant matters.  Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that good grades, winning, work cohesiveness and health is not important...(And those that know me, know about my competitive side)...  But, they are not critical to what matters most to me now.  They are not the focus on what currently drives me.
  
So what do I worry about?  Worries never leave a mother of a special needs child.  I worry everyday about the future, HER future.  I worry about her being able to function as a productive member of society.  I worry about her mom and dad not being around to take care of her.  I could go on and on about the concerns that run through my mind. 

The challenges we currently face are preparing Olivia to learn to read and write.  Identifying letters has been an obstacle that we can't seem to overcome.  Her Cortical Visual Impairment is preventing her from learning the important salient features of each letter.  She is uninterested and lacks the motivaton and commitment to focus her energy on this task.  I feel like we are asking the impossible from her.  I relate it to someone telling me to run a marathon tomorrow.  It cannot be done...today or tomorrow,  but it CAN be done... with time, commitment, and motivation.  Am I willing to run a marathon?  That is the question that needs to be answered.  How can we motivate Olivia to "go the distance" and run this marathon of learning literacy skills.   

I have tried to learn that my primary job includes teaching, protecting, encouraging, advocating for, and loving my sweet Olivia.  I do not sweat the small stuff, but I do sweat the big stuff.    

...our adventure continues
Olivia's "sweaty" mom