Today the facility where I planned to have my daughter’s 7th birthday called to let me know they accidentally gave away our time slot. Her party is still over a month away, so we just needed to pick another day or time. No biggie, right? When I hung up the phone, I burst into tears and proceeded to cry for almost 30 minutes. 30 minutes! OK, I admit, I am what you call a “crier.” Those commercials with teensy babies asleep in their mother’s arms or grown children going off to college usually always get me, and I avoid the evening news because I end up sobbing by the first commercial break. But this? Out of character even for an emotional goof like me.
Then it hit me. I felt like this party was something going my way, something easy and hassle-free. Something positive. I called and got the perfect day and time first try. This party was something I could control. Something that felt stable and unchanging. Sure, that’s a lot to put on a party’s shoulders, but I needed something. I just didn’t realize it until that moment. Life had grabbed me and tossed me on a roller coaster (and without my permission, how rude!) these last few weeks, and sometimes a little kitchen meltdown is what it takes to see that.
My 19-month-old son was diagnosed with SPD a few weeks ago. He has been working with an early intervention program on his delays for a few months and we are awaiting results of genetic testing, but this official diagnosis is fresh. And confusing. My head has been spinning as I read about SPD and make the connections. The more I learn, the easier and harder it seems to be.
Just to keep things interesting I suppose, life threw in another curve. It became very clear to me that my daughter has sensory issues as well (currently on a wait list). I feel terrible that I did not know and get her help as a toddler. It was not so obvious with her as it was for my son, and her issues are probably milder, but it all makes sense now. I try to be kind and remind myself that I had never heard of SPD, so how could I have known? Mother’s guilt is no match for that logic. My heart aches when I think about what she was going through, what my son is going through as he tries to grow up in this crazy sensational world. I am glad to have answers for the “quirky” behaviors and massive meltdowns, the relatives who said over and over “You just worry too much, he is fine.” Yet having an answer is just the beginning.
It might not be what I expected, and it will surely be challenging (Life apparently did not get the memo that parenting is a hard enough job already), but it will be OK. Take a deep breath and repeat: it will be OK. I am still coming to grips with all this, still learning so much and sorting it all out. I am ready to put in the time and effort that it will take to help my children be as successful and happy as possible, SPD or not. I am prepared to be strong and positive, to allow myself to grieve and cry, and to feel pain and joy. All this sounds well and good, until the next time I get a phone call with a time change and dissolve into tears. Truthfully, I can read and prepare and try my best, but all I really know is this: I love my two children fully and fiercely, just as they are.