Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Clara's first day at Texana, her full time therapy school. It is amazing to me that another year has blown by, that my oldest babe has been attending school from 8:30am-3:00pm everyday for the last year (well, except weekends). I am constantly in awe of her strength, determination, and ability to adjust to new plans and processes.
She has grown by leaps and bounds (both physically and mentally!) and I am beyond grateful to her school, the staff, and the team at large for creating this space where kids like Clara can learn and mature and fine tune any and every skill that needs some fine tuning. I sit humbled and in awe of what they do and the genuine love and service that they pour into these kids on the daily.
Nonetheless, it is still quite easy to get caught up in all the "what ifs, she cant's, and might not evers," when thinking about Clara's development on a larger scale. After viewing a recent Instagram picture I posted of Clara walking to the car, backpack and all, after school one day, a friend commented on all the ways this picture sparked joy. I quickly turned the compliment around with "Yes, it is great she is carrying her backpack, but you know she isn't able to put it on herself. They force her to carry it."
And just like that my perspective was skewed and the tone took a turn south, from all that Clara has learned to do, to all that she cannot do.
This is so easy to do as a parent, no? Regardless if your title is special needs mom or typical mom or _____ (you fill in the blank) mom, is it far too easy to get caught up in all the negatives, while overlooking the positives. . . the blessings that have been given and dreams that have been achieved. All the ways our kids have grown and things they have accomplished. Because big or small, accomplishments matter. Regardless of how long the goal list, accomplished goals count!
So today I will focus on all the things Clara CAN do. All the ways she is overcoming obstacles and killing it at school. Like the way she is able to identify mommy and daddy, the way she is using a picture system to request various items, or the way she can now bring a fork to her mouth when prompted. I will take a look at all little, itty bitty things that she has learned over the past year that really aren't itty bitty at all.
You with me?
Let's revamp our focus and change our language and point out the blessings. Let's replace "she can't" with "she can," and joyfully embrace the gift of perfectly, imperfect progress.