The minute we become parents, all we want is what is best for our children. We will go to the four corners of the universe in order to make sure our children are taken care of. For all of us parenting is a learning experience. We grow with our children, just as they grow up to be the adults they will be. They sometimes are our teachers. They make us aware that we were once children too. With our own struggles, our own joys. The experiences we had as children can translate to how we deal with our own.
When my youngest was first diagnosed with Autism. I knew what I had learned from the first child we had that was diagnosed with Autism. But as we went along, it was quite clear that both of my autistic children were different. Yes they had the same disorder, but they both presented differently. It was very hard for me to relate to either of them. I do my best to make sure they will have the services and medical attention they will need to grow and prosper. But I didn't know how to relate to them. It wasn't until my eldest was diagnosed with ADHD, that I actually sat back and looked back. I went so far back, right to my own childhood.
My own childhood had its struggles. Sure I struggled to fit in, got bullied often. Had bad hair cuts and teeth that pointed six different directions from Tuesday. But it was my struggles that I had academically that I was focused on. Looking back, I see where I was similar to my children. All three of them. It wasn't until I had hit junior high(middle school, for some folks) that it was finally brought to my parents attention that I might have a learning disability with some attention issues. I went to have my neuropsych done. And sure enough, there it was. Plain as day. I did have a learning disability and ADD. At the time I wasn't told what was going on. All I knew was that I could barely put a sentence together and math was just a bunch of numbers. At the time, I didn't think much of it and was told that I was lazy. All this information, I didn't know until I was an adult.
Lazy. That word. Lazy. When my eldest was diagnosed, that word came up. I fought so hard to get tests done for this child. What he was going through, echoed what my childhood was. I knew that pain and frustration. I know what it is like to try to get out what you want to say down on tests and get nothing. I know what its like to have teacher not have faith in you and label you "Lazy". For the first time in my parenting years, I felt that I could relate to my children.
I knew what it was like to wear their shoes.
My children have been through so much. They have done remarkably well with what life has thrown at them. Through, the bullies, through the struggle to just get a passing grade, through the maze it is just being a child, they have do amazing. And in all of that, they have reminded me about a time where I wore their shoes.
I know the road they will walk in those shoes. I understand the hurdles they will face on this road. These three little souls will know that just because it seems impossible now, they will know that someone has walked in their shoes.