Saturday, May 31, 2014

No Sugar-Coating Here

Lately, I have been noticing more and more a trend on the forums and groups I am in. There may be a SLIGHT obsession with walking. Every post I see is someone worrying about their child not walking as much, not walking as far, or not meeting milestones in order to walk. It's the normal expectation, and even with our not so normal (yet still very awesome) spina bifida lovelies, many of them can walk with some assistance. But there are some who don't...

I will admit, I am part of the problem, because I hesitate to post where Callista is developmentally, because I don't want to scare moms who have kids younger than her, or are still pregnant with their SB babies. When I was pregnant, I fully expected to have a daughter who would use a walker, need braces, etc. I never intended her to never walk, struggle to sit up, and have significant delays in all other areas. Because everyone in these groups always talks about how well their children are doing and that with time, your child will get there too. But sometimes they don't...

So why do people like me try to hide our babies like they are bad news no one wants to hear? Quite frankly, when I take a step back to write about it, I am embarrassed that I don't share more with these moms. It might be scary, but it's reality. Just because Callista doesn't do what she is suppose to doesn't mean her life is bad or she's anything less than wonderful. I guess I shouldn't say I hide her, because we are very public with our trials and celebrations. But I don't post often when people ask questions like "Anyone else's baby not sit up at nine months?!". Because she's two... and still struggling. And posts that go something like "Finally! At 18 months we've started pulling to stand!" yank at my heart, because at two, we're nowhere. Because sometimes it just doesn't happen.

But why don't I read about THOSE kids? Those babies just like mine exist out there somewhere, and I know that we are proud of the accomplishments, no matter how small. Why don't we post about those? Why don't we be honest with others and say "No, my child doesn't do that and probably never will"? For me, I think I don't say anything for fear it will be taken as negativity, when really it's just the truth for us. I'm not upset about our situation, just answering honestly. Just because she doesn't walk does not mean she's less valuable, nor will I spend all my time hyper-focused on that one part of my child. Let's stop sugar coating everything for everyone and show them even if we aren't "normal", we are still happy. And fabulous!