These are a few of my favourite things

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As I mentioned earlier, we have had a lot of positive to focus on the past couple of weeks in our house. We got a summary of Maddy’s progress today and we were thrilled to see it. Tomorrow we start phase two of her behavioural therapy program. We’re also picking up occupational therapy again two times a week, and setting up an assessment with a speech language pathologist to figure out our next steps in supporting Maddy’s language development.

At home we have new strategies too. We have a home program to work on the skills Maddy has been learning in her behavioural therapy program, and we are also starting to make use of a visual schedule my sister, Lindsay, prepared for us.

In an earlier post I talked about ways in which Eric and I were working to deal with the stress of raising a child with special needs. Tonight I’m sharing with you another tactic we use – listing our favourite things about Madeleine.

Maddy, we love:

  1. Your sweet little pigtails.
  2. How you love wearing boots indoors, but hate wearing pants.
  3. Your love (and lack of fear) of all dogs.
  4. That you love “Smooth Road.”
  5. The way you sleep with your bum in the air.
  6. All of your hugs… but especially the ones where you squeeze our necks or squish your cheek right up next to ours.
  7. The way you give us your forehead when we say, “kiss?”
  8. The reddish tint to your hair and your grey eyes.
  9. Cuddling with you in the wee morning hours (even if your definition of cuddling is actually climbing on top of us, banging your head on ours, or sticking your fingers in our eyes, ears, and noses until you fall asleep again).
  10. Your love of music.
  11. How peaceful and content you look when you’re asleep, even if you found the day a tough one.
  12. How much you look like your daddy.
  13. The sweet baby smell you still have.
  14. Your squishy little legs and your pudgy belly.
  15. Absolutely everything!

I blog a lot about our challenges… mostly because that’s what’s most therapeutic for me, but also so that people with similar experiences can read what I write and not feel so alone. And to be honest, if I had a magic wand, I would take SPD away from Maddy. I would make the way she senses our world less scary, anxiety-provoking, and painful than it is for her on a daily basis. I would make it not as challenging for her to reach the milestones that so many parents take for granted. I would make it so that she feels safe in our world. But, first and foremost, what I want you all to know, but especially what I want my sweet little girl to know is:

Madeleine, you are perfect in every way. You are the light and joy of our life. We hurt because we love you so much, not because we think anything less.

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6 responses »

  1. Awww what a great post! It’s so important to take time and make a list of the positives especially when daily struggles can almost consume you at times. I LOVE her pink boots…so cute! And you’re right, she does look like her daddy (minus the pig tails hehe). Although, I don’t know what you look like, so I can’t really compare her to you I guess! lol. Your blog is a great place for others going through similar circumstances to relate to I’m sure. Some people don’t want to admit the hardships in regards to children (special needs or even those without special needs) and yet it should be talked about more honestly so that others have the comfort of knowing they’re not alone :). I wish there was such thing as a magic wand as well 😉

    • I completely agree. When we were first struggling it was so hard as so many people talk only about the amazing and beautiful things about parenting. I felt so alone until I found others who had lived through what we were experiencing. I definitely think that the first year as a new parent wouldn’t be as lonely if people were able to talk about the tough parts too.

      Haha – trust me, even if you knew what I looked like you’d still see Eric in her 🙂 Sometimes people say they see me in her, but not that often.

  2. You are a strong and beautiful family. I’m so proud of you. I had been thinking about you and worrying that I had been a little too honest. This a magnificent list and a hugely important exercise. Love to you all.

    • Hi Debra,

      Never worry that you’re too honest – for me, that’s exactly what I need/want to hear. In some ways, it gives me “permission” to feel the way I do.

      Our strength, in a large part, comes from all of the loving friend and family we find rallying next to us – so thank you!

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