Sunday, June 19, 2011

Two Sides of the Journey

I write a lot about our journey with special needs from my perspective, which only makes sense...since I'm the one perceiving and recording this journey!  I often forget that I'm not the only parent on this journey.  Sometimes it's a lonely road, and I feel like I'm trying to be SuperMom--able to leap over couches to grab the child off the tipping bookshelf, to block all noises with the power of my hands over a child's ears, and to fend off all moodiness, melancholy and mayhem while simultaneously fixing dinner, listening to a train monologue, and motivating children to pick up their toys.  Sometimes I forget that I'm not on this journey alone. 

I often joke in the summer months about being a "single parent."  My hubby works LONG days in the summer.  He's up and gone before I even wake up, and doesn't get home until the kids are ready for bed.  He works six days a week, and on the seventh, he rests.  With loud snores and grunts thrown in so we all know that daddy's resting--do not disturb.  I choose to laugh at our situation, because, well, it puts the food on our table and pays the bills.  So it is what it is!  I joke about his long hours and I sometimes do resent the fact that I do it all where the kids are concerned.  But I greatly appreciate my husband's commitment to his job and supporting his family, and hey--he's off all winter and sees us all the time, so it balances out in the long run.

So, yeah, I forget sometimes that I'm not alone.  That this journey is not just mine to take, but his as well.  The crazy thing is that we will both end up in the same place when the journey ends, and we're travelling the same road, but we both view that journey a different way.  I'm more focused on the road...I see the bumps, the potholes, the hills, the valleys.  I keep an eye on the map, making sure we turn at the right places and don't go off down a dead-end road.  I look ahead to see where we can turn in to rest, where we can fuel up and recharge, where we can take cover from the storms.  My hubby, though?  He's more focused on the people who journey with us...those little kids who are the whole reason we're on this journey in the first place.  And because we view the journey from different perspectives, we see things in different lights.

I want to fix everything.  I want to plan it all out.  I over think what every strange thing might mean.  He is the one to calm me down and focus me on the big picture, instead of the little details.  He hears me out and then tells me to just enjoy the ride.  And I need that.  Because when you are the one (and let's face it--it's usually the moms in this role) who handles every day to day need, you tend to forget the joy.  When you're bogged down in the pits of IEPs and therapies and insurance calls and meltdowns and mood swings and all the little idiosyncrasies that are your kids, you forget that it's ok to take your eyes off the road once in awhile and look around at the scenery.  It's ok to pull over and just enjoy the view--to run through the grass and wade in the streams and scale the mountains for the pure joy of seeing what's at the top, not what's on the other side.

I am ever so thankful for my hubby.  I don't think I'd make it through this journey without him by my side.  I'd be too stressed out to even enjoy my kids if he didn't balance out my craziness every day.  If I wasn't able to let him take the driver's seat once in awhile and just sit back and relax, I don't think I could accept our journey in life with as much grace as I do.  I am so glad our children can call him Daddy.  I don't tell him this enough, but I would be lost on this journey without him.

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