Go on any type of social media for five minutes and you’ll be bombarded with pictures of babies at all ages and stages of development. Our kids are our pride and joy and we love to show them off. I am no exception to this and love to see squishy baby photos, especially babies that I don’t get to see much in real life.
But, after I love to see the pictures, I get a twinge of sadness. I look at the babies sitting up, standing, waving, clapping and I am instantly reminded that though those babies are younger than Ella, they’re light speed ahead of her developmentally.
I’m not immune to the baby posting craze, I constantly share snaps of all three kids. I’m surprised that Raegan isn’t walking yet given her disposition to always being on the move, but I’m slightly relieved. I know the day is coming soon, but with her still crawling around, the differences between the two aren’t as blatantly obvious. Braeden thought Raegan standing up was hilarious; “Just like me!” He hasn’t asked why Ella isn’t, but I suspect that day will come soon too.
I would love to watch the girls crawling around together, give them a bath and watch them splash each other. Right now it feels as though they, and I, are missing out on the fun parts of being twins. I’m sure it will happen in the future, and there will be lots of time to bond and play, but I’m a bit sad it’s not easier.
I was recently at a parent meeting with other parents of children with CP and one woman shared how it was recently really hard on her when her son should have been graduating high school but wasn’t and the conversations with friends whose teenagers were all headed off to university. She described the feeling as jealousy, and I immediately agreed. Until you’re put in a situation where you could understand, you don’t, plain and simple. You may be the most empathetic person in the world, but until you know, you’ll never really know. It’s not that I want any of my friends or family to not put up photos of their babes, and I definitely would never want them to experience their child having a brain injury or diagnosis, it’s just that I’m jealous that I’m not one of them. Jealous for what would surely have been a simpler, different life.
Every day is different and some days are harder, more emotional. Some days our otherness is waved in my face, and sometimes I slip by, unnoticed. Just another mum.
Years from now I’ll look back at my own pictures and will be amazed at the progress my kids have made. So keep taking the pictures, keep showing off your kids, just remember that sometimes your pictures make us sad, and that’s okay as we navigate our new normal.