by Nikki McBride Spencer
We knew she had Down syndrome when she came to us here on earth, but we didn't officially find out she had autism as well until just last month.
The diagnosis wasn't as much of a blow as I'd expected. It's more of a relief, really. My daughter is the same person as she always was, but now I have an explanation of why she acts the way she does.
So again we hop on the never-ending merry-go-round of doctor visits, therapies, medications, specialists...won't this ever stop? One would think in the eternal race to survive this world one of us would have to give up. Will it be me, or the forces of nature that never, ever stop pushing?
Sometimes I get so tired. I feel like I can't go on and think about giving up. Surely it won't be so bad if my daughter can't sit still in church? Can't be potty trained? Can't be enrolled in a typical classroom?
Just as these thoughts envelop me and threaten to take me down, something happens. Something innate inside me rises to the surface and squeezes my heart and grits my teeth. My fists clench and my jaw sets. Call it stubbornness, fighting instinct, or just plain willpower. I won't give up, and neither will she.
Some might counsel me to relax. To give up and let the river of inaction flow over me, burying hope and achievement and forward motion, smoothing away the ping of accomplishment and pride in a job well done. There are those that might call me crazy to even try.
Crazy? Not crazy. I call it being a Mother.