I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those mums who can only talk about her kids, but I definitely find they come up a lot in conversation, as well as constantly being in my mind as I navigate life as their parent.
Yesterday, I was absent mindedly thinking about Ella and laughing to myself about how chatty she is and how as soon as I went in to their room yesterday morning she was telling me all about how her sister dropped her toy and was sad and had her jammies on and Mama has a sweater on and let’s sing Let It Go together. And then, just for a moment I thought about how my heart breaks for her that so many people won’t see that; they’ll see her equipment or her “disability” or whatever else they feel sets her apart from them and how unfair on her that is. How unfair that she will always have to work that much harder to have people see her for who she truly is, and at that moment, when I thought about that and life’s injustices, my eyes welled up and I couldn’t stop the feelings from boiling up, out of my heart and out into the world.
I wondered if that would go away, or if it would just be another injustice or pain or disloyalty that would continue throughout her life; school, friends, navigating a job. And how we feel it’s our job as their parent to protect them and have people know how awesome they are, but at some point it becomes their job, and they’ll either thrive at it, or they’ll struggle, but will learn in ways they couldn’t had we taken the lead from them.
Of course, we know that’s hard for all kids, but it’s that much harder for kids who are different, and kids can be cruel – but so can adults, and I want people to see chatty hilarious Ella. The Ella who after brushing her teeth this morning said to me, “beautiful Mama!” followed by “Mama hug!” where she leans her head on my shoulder and pats my back and it instantly fills me with sunshine and warmth and I want others to feel that too, because nothing that’s happened compares to that smile of hers, and that just makes me slightly emotional.