When Bridget was an infant and we heard the (thankfully false) prediction that she may never roll over or have a life of quality, we were devastated. Then we became Bridget’s warriors. We decided what goals we would have, we brought in therapists. We researched via Google. We found a team of therapists who were innovative and relentless in their quest to have Bridget obtain the tiniest of movements that snowballed into her jumping on the bed.
It took 10 years, but my girl jumped on the bed while joyfully yelling, “Super hero slam!”.
The question for me is where do I set the bar? What goals do I want her to reach?
Not for me, but for her to live her best life possible.
With Abby it’s a bit more traditional. I want her to try hard in school and proceed thru the graduation. I hope for college or military but am okay if she determines the best course for her is the working life. I didn’t take the traditional road to college, it took until my 30’s before I went to school and when I graduated I was 8 months pregnant with Bridget. I’d like Abby for one day to be in a committed relationship with some who But I digress.
I have been thinking a lot this month, as we celebrate PACS1 Awareness. We focused on our kiddos accomplishments, what brought them joy, what did they rock in 2018 and how can we share that joy. Watching Bridget jump and remembering when I wrote (in 2013) “What you took for granted in your knowledge of all things is that you knew nothing of my daughter’s strength, joy, heart and determination.”
That right there is where it makes it a challenge to find out what bar to set for Bridget, what goals we should have.
I don’t want to limit her.
I also don’t want to set a bar so high she feels like a failure if it takes longer or if she just cannot do it.
It’s okay if she cannot do something. Heck anyone who knows me knows not to trust me with glitter, a crochet needle or anything resembling a craft. There are things that Abby cannot do. Some of the reason is we are just not interested. I have my mom who makes incredible baby blankets, why should I torture myself? In some ways things are just beyond my intellect (I’m never going to win Jeopardy) or physical strength (not going into a boxing ring any time soon).
Do I want her to read? Yes. Selfishly it’s because I enjoy reading that it is essential to my sanity. Also I want her to be able to go into a restaurant or store or someplace unfamiliar and navigate. Yet, reading isn’t essential. There are other mechanisms (i.e. iPad, signage, ACC) that will allow her to be functionally illiterate. That does not make her less, it makes her adaptive.
It is okay if there are things Bridget cannot do, or may not want to do. That she exerts her independence in ways others take as being stubborn. I prefer to think (as a reader just gave me the term) Bridget is making a self-determination in what matters in her life.
I just have to keep the bar within her reach and her interest.