Essay

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Essay
1
Fri, 04-28-2006 - 11:07am

This was posted on a ABS Support Group website I am a member of and I thought that I would share it here. I know that it will tug on your heart the way it did mine and maybe even bring a tear to your eye like it did me. I admire each and everyone of you.....you all have such strength and perseverance.

Some Mothers Get Babies With Something More
written by: Lori Borgman
Columnist and Speaker

My friend is expecting her first child. People keep asking what she
wants. She smiles demurely, shakes her head and gives the answer
mothers have
given throughout the pages of time. She says it doesn't matter
whether it's
a boy or a girl. She just wants it to have ten fingers and ten toes.

Of course, that's what she says. That's what mothers have always
said.

Mothers lie.

Truth be told, every mother wants a whole lot more. Every mother
wants
a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button
nose,
beautiful eyes, satin skin and straight feet. Every mother wants a
baby so
gorgeous
that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly.

Every mother wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those
first steps right on schedule (according to the baby development
chart on
page 57, column two). Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear,
run, jump
and fire neurons by the billions. She wants a kid that can smack the
ball
out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire
ballet
class.

Call it greed if you want, but we mothers want what we want.

Some mothers get babies with something more.

Some mothers get babies with conditions they can't pronounce, a spine
that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome, a palette that didn't close
or a tiny crooked foot or two. Most of those mothers can remember
the time, the
place, the shoes they were wearing and the color of the walls in the
small,
suffocating room where the
doctor uttered the words that took their breath away. It felt like
recess in
the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming and it
knocked
the wind clean out of you.

Some mothers leave the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months,
even years later, take him in for a routine visit, or schedule her
for a
well check, and crash head first into a brick wall as they bear the
brunt
of devastating news. It can't be possible! That doesn't run in our
family. Can this really be happening in our lifetime?

I am a woman who watches the Olympics for the sheer thrill of seeing
finely sculpted bodies. It's not a lust thing; it's a wondrous
thing. The
athletes appear as specimens without flaw - rippling muscles with
nary an ounce
of flab or fat, virtual powerhouses of strength with lungs and limbs
working in perfect harmony. Then the athlete walks over to a tote
bag, rustles
through the contents and pulls out an inhaler.

As I've told my own kids, be it on the way to physical therapy after
a
third knee surgery, or on a trip home from an echo cardiogram,
there's no
such thing as a perfect body. Every body will bear something at some
time
or another. Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or
maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor,
medication
or surgery. The health problems our children have experienced have
been
minimal and manageable, so I watch with keen interest and great
admiration the
mothers of children with serious disabilities, and wonder how they do
it.

Frankly, sometimes you mothers scare me. How you lift that child in
and out of a wheelchair 20 times a day. How you monitor tests, track
medications, regulate diet and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred
specialists
yammering in your ear.

I wonder how you endure the clichés and the platitudes, well-
intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've
occasionally
questioned if God is on strike. I even wonder how you endure
schmaltzy pieces
like
this one -- saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you
know
you're ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer
for this,
you didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose
me,
God. Choose me! I've got what it takes." You're a woman who doesn't
have
time to step back and put things in perspective, so, please, let me
do it for
you.

From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack. You've developed the
strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a
daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box
in July,
carefully counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark
mule. You can be
warm and tender one minute, and when circumstances require, intense
and
aggressive the next. You are the mother, advocate and protector of a
child with a disability. You're a neighbor, a friend, a stranger I
pass at
the mall. You're the woman I sit next to at church, my cousin and my
sister-in-law. You're a woman who wanted ten fingers and ten toes,
and
got something more. You're a wonder.

 

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


<
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: proudmommyof3boys
Sat, 04-29-2006 - 10:06am
Thanks for sharing these beautiful words!

Image hosting by Photobucket
Follow me to: