Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Pool Incident

Here is the truth:

Having a child like Elisabeth isn't always easy.

Usually, when you have a baby, they grow and progress. They learn to be self sufficient. They learn to be independent.

That's not the case with my sweet little Elisabeth.

As she had grown it has become increasingly more difficult to care for her. Normally I don't dwell on it - or even mind it. I just love her and care for her and feel lucky all along the way.

But every once in a while a day will come where it just seems downright hard. Yesterday, for example:

I try to take my girls to the pool most days. With Elisabeth, this is a big production. Making sure that I have all of her supplies, and diapers, and then the added task of managing her in the pool - lifting her, carrying her, dealing with seizures, etc, etc, etc. Taking her to the pool is a big job. But I do it day in and day out to add variety and fun to her life; she deserves more than being stuck in the house.

Yesterday was a bit of a disaster. A disaster that involved a swim diaper that did not work properly and an entire water park that got shut down as a result. Aside from the fact that I was simply mortified that the pool incident happened, I was left carrying a poop-covered, sopping wet, seizing five and a half year old.

I came home and cried.

Later in the day, as I was talking about the pool incident with Alexandra, I made a comment about how conspicuous we are. Any other kid can poop in the pool and the next day they blend right in with the crowd. Not the case with us. We stand out; Elisabeth stands out.

"Sometimes I wish we weren't so noticeable,"
I said, thinking about the beauty of anonymity.

Immediately, Alexandra looked at me and said,

"I'm glad that people notice us because of Elisabeth."

My heart soared. I was so glad to know that Alexandra feels a sense of pride because Elisabeth is her sister.  She knows Elisabeth is special and feels the same honor I do in having her in our family.

I am blessed in life. Blessed to be a mother. Blessed to have these beautiful daughters. It's true that there are additional challenges that come from raising a child with brain damage, but I know that these challenges build strength and increase compassion and understanding. Elisabeth has taught me so much in life and about life. How lovely that a child who is limited in so many ways can be the greatest teacher of all.

It might be a few days before I brave the water park again, but I know that when I do I'll carry her in with my head held high; proud that she is mine.

Alexandra is right, Elisabeth is a wonderful reason to be noticed.

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