Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Honest Truth

I miss the special needs support network I had before we moved. I didn't realize what a incredible blessing it was to have so many friends with children with Down syndrome, and to be involved in the Early Intervention program which surrounded us with other developmentally delayed children.

Antalya is the only child with special needs in her school. It's great for her, but I struggle a lot with it. Just getting to and from school with both Antalya and Victoria is an ordeal. An ordeal that I don't mind, except for the fact that everyone else in the preschool seems so perfectly British in that they are so proper and well-behaved, and I feel every pair of eyes on us every time we enter and leave.

I know I'm being ultra-sensitive here, but I resent that fact that every day several others moms see me struggling to communicate with Antalya, and see me struggle as I try to keep her with me as I push Victoria in the stroller, and see me struggle as I try to work through Antalya's meltdowns. I feel like they pity me, which probably isn't true, but it's how I feel. I want them to reach out to Antalya because she is a darling, fun, loving, and sweet three year old. I don't want them to see the way she screams and hits, and throws herself on the concrete because someone thought they were being kind by holding the gate open for us instead of letting Antalya do it herself, or because someone said hello to Antalya in just the wrong way and made her feel threatened, or because someone rode their bike to school and Antalya doesn't understand why it isn't her bike.

I don't want her classmates to know her as the girl that doesn't talk, or the girl that yells when she is frustrated, or the girl that doesn't use the toilet like all the rest of them, or the girl that is different. I want them to love her because she is funny. Because she loves to have fun. Because she is so full of life. Because she has so much love for everyone.

Sometimes I just want us to be like everyone else. To not hear little voices asking their moms why Antalya does things the way she does, to not have eyes watching our struggles. To just be one of the crowd.


Jan said...

I'm so glad you're coming "home" this summer where Antalya WILL be surrounded by people who LOVE her just because she is cute, funny and totally adorable.

toni said...

Wow! I have nothing to complain about. You are super patient, and how lucky you are to have this sweet, innocent, special girl in your life. She has a little sister who will definately look our for her when they do things together (When the time comes) That's one of the reasons Victoria was sent to your family. She also has to deal with how mean people can be about her Antalya. They'll both be very sensitive and grounded. I guess the bright side is you can't be looked on as a predetor's victim! Antalya will scare off anyone!

Dehner Family said...

You are amazing! I think you are such a great mom and I'm inspired by you. I just want you to know I think your awesome.

Layla said...

I am so amazed by you! Thank you for being so honest and sharing your frustrations. I think Antalya is a sweet little girl!

Jeana said...

I'm sorry that you don't have much support close by. When ever I start worrying about what others "may" be thinking about me and my situation I try to remind myself about the end of the "Do it anyway" quote by Mother Theresa, " In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." (other people)

It would be hard to be across the globe, so hard from family. I'm glad you get to come back for a visit in the summer. We'd love to see you if you have time, but I'm sure you'll be crazy busy. We can go for a run :)

Becky J. said...

((hugs)) That has to be very hard. You're amazing. I'm sorry it's so tough.

Lisa (Espanish for "Lisa") said...

Oh, I'm sorry Sunny. I'm sure it's tough when people don't just see Antalya as Antalya, but as "the girl with down syndrome" or "the girl who throws tantrums" (I'm sorry for the meltdowns. That's always fun in a public place! Nicole has what I call "point of no return" where we can't diffuse it, we just have to ride it out).

Antalya is beautiful. I love her vivacity. I was enjoying the pictures you posted after this post. I love the joy in her face when she was on those rides with you. The joy of a child. Probably one of the greatest things to be a part of in life! I'm sorry you don't have the same support group. It's so nice to have a place where people "get it" and you can just be together. I hope this summer proves a recharge for you and Antalya.

Thanks again for being my support in the 8th ward. Although our girls were struggling at times with different things, it was nice to have someone else with whom I could relate. Your girls are beautiful. Give them hugs from us, and receive one back for yourself.

Michelle said...

totally understand your feelings. Well said.