Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What I Want You To Know on C. P. Awareness Day

It seems there is a day for everything - Sweetheart's Day, Autism Awareness Day, Groundhog Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Day, National Chips and Dip Day. Some of these days are for promoting a cause (or an awareness of something), some days are for celebration, some days (like chips and dip day) are a bit ridiculous.

But today is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. Last autumn my youngest son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Until that day, I only knew a little bit about C.P. Very little actually. I am still learning because like other spectrum and neurological disorders, there is not a one-size-fits all description.  I only know about Bugaboo's diagnosis, his challenges and his strengths. I have seen on facebook some in the community saying, "Happy CP Day!" Although I understand their sentiment, for me that phrase feels awkward.  Instead today, I celebrate Bug, not just what he has overcome and accomplished but who he is.

I celebrate the fact that Bug is getting better at his pincer grasp... someday soon he will master silverware and small pegged puzzles. I celebrate how he "ran" around the backyard this weekend in the spring weather. I celebrate his ability to use the stairs, with someone walking near him for safety and support. I celebrate his love for music and the ability to sing lines to various songs. I celebrate that he is kind, never getting mad if someone takes his toy or leaves him out. I celebrate his laugh, one of my favorite sounds in the world. I celebrate his amazing memory which displays itself at the most interesting times. I celebrate how he prays every night by listing the names of family, friends, and teachers, and even the occasional fictional character.

(photo by Sarah Bottarel Photography)
It is easy as a mama to get overwhelmed, even when your child fits the textbook description of milestones and development. But there is something I think unique to motherhood when you have a child with unique challenges.  I celebrate the little things, like having the muscles to actually take a bite of food or climb up stairs with support.  I get a little depressed when I see kids younger than my own using a crayon to scribble or running around quickly and without falling. I get defensive (sometimes) when someone brings up his drooling.  I worry that I might be one of the only people who understands what he is saying. I fear that society will underestimate his capabilities just because he can't respond quickly or the way they need him to.

I say all of this on Awareness Day to hopefully make our friends and family and strangers on the internet aware. I am not a super mom because I have a child with special needs.  While I believe in the sovereignty of God, I don't believe I am any more qualified to be on this CP journey with Bug than anyone else. I am qualified to be his mom just the same way I am qualified to be Bubby's mom, just the same way those of you who have children are qualified to be their parents. As a person of faith, I am qualified to handle this journey not in my own strength, but in the strength and power of Jesus Christ.

So on CP Awareness Day I celebrate the graciousness of God, Who gave us Bugaboo and Who leads us on this journey. I celebrate the strengthening of our faith, the nearness of the Holy Spirit when I most need Him, and the promise that He has a plan for our lives.

4 comments:

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    1. I've missed chatting/email/communicating with you. I will resume that soon - I think I am coming out of this funk of winter. Love ya!

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  2. Every sentence makes me nod in agreement (subbing autism for CP). You have captured so well all the different things that we moms feel as we watch our children grow and struggle and overcome. Much love to your family today and every day and you love and care for each other! Thanks for sharing this :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Rachel. It is quite a journey, isn't it?

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me.