Friday, February 24, 2012

New Beginnings... and Going Down Memory Lane

Today I've spent more than 4 hours writing and really bringing up old memories.  I wrote today about my mothers mastectomy and about the birth of my first daughter, who is now 24 years old.  Here is a picture of my mom, my daughter and I four months after her birth and six months after my moms surgery.  As I look at this picture of me, I notice that I actually could pass for being my mothers biological daughter, of which I am not.  My daughter on the other hand looks just like me.  Here is a current picture of us right here:
I know the picture isn't very good, it was taken with a cell phone, but you can see how similar we are.  Anyways I've been thinking about how I started out my job as a mother, at such a young age, and really have not done that bad of a job.  I've had many challenges that I've overcome.  I don't write this to toot my own horn, but rather to remember who I really am, and that's a MOM.  My entire life has been nothing but caring for my children first and foremost.  I've given up a lot to be able to provide for them, but I've also been rewarded in ways that I can't even put into words, just by seeing my children happy.  For those of you who do not know, I am the mom of special needs children.  All five of my kids are on the Autism Spectrum in varying degrees, and then some of my children also have other disabilities in addition to the autism.  Such as my 21yr old daughter who has Down syndrome, or my 15yr old daughter who also has cerebral palsy.  I also have a son who was born with Fetal Valproate Syndrome.  Did I ever envision this when I had my first child?  No.  But I've grabbed the bull by the horn and have done whatever I needed to do to raise my children to the best of my ability.  Sure, some days I question "why me"?  Why was I chosen to raise special needs children, and then I remember...  because this is what I've always wanted to do.  When I was young I wanted to be a special education teacher.  Well, being a mother is the ultimate teaching possibility.  We mothers are teaching our children, even when we think we're not.  Our children are like sponges when they are young, constantly taking in what we are doing, how we react to things, and how we talk to them and those around us.

I've enjoyed walking down this memory lane today.  I'm looking forward to writing the next section of my book.  This next section includes learning how to parent when you're alone, and the birth of my second daughter, and how Down syndrome transformed my life. 

Until next time....

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