My heart hurts today. The reality of my daughter's disability hit home at the IEP meeting a few days ago. Although the speech therapist pointed out many of her strengths and we talked about how cute she is, (blah, blah), her delays seemed to overshadow them. I mean, that's the point of the IEP, right? To create goals and objectives to help the child improve her weak areas. I don't like to talk about her delays to professionals, and I wish she didn't have any.
I'm worried about my daughter's future as she enters kindergarten next fall. Will she be able to keep up? Will she make friends and be invited over to their homes for playdates? Will teachers be proud of themselves because they were able to handle a kid with Down syndrome in their class, as if my girl is a prize for their career? Will there come a time when her school says she doesn't fit there anymore? So many worries.
I know, I know, she brings many blessings and I should look at all of the positive aspects of the situation. I should go to the Bible to find comforting scriptures;and I will. I know that the Lord is my source of strength, and I need to rely on Him to help me through this. But I want to admit to someone out there that my heart hurts. I feel ashamed for the sadness that creeps in once in a while because I should feel grateful and blessed everyday.
I don't want to tell my family how I'm feeling because I know what they'll say — 'look at how far she has come,' 'we love her just the way she is,' 'God has a special purpose for her,' 'you are a wonderful mother for working with her so much,' 'God doesn't give you more than you can handle'...
But isn't it okay to say that my heart aches for the "normal-ness" that I dreamed about for her? Do any other parents struggle with this? I know we shouldn't dwell on it — but can't I just admit it to someone who might understand? I'm hoping that the sadness won't feel so strong if I get it off my chest, and hopefully see that I'm not the only one.
BTW — I HATE the term "high functioning"!!!!