I know it’s late. It’s not even Friday. Kind of apropos I suppose. When I saw the word ‘belong’ I couldn’t resist. You know what it feels like to be left out of the bubble of (new) motherhood when your (first) child has additional/special needs.
Even after Tallula was born I still didn’t belong to that typical mom bubble. I didn’t belong with those new moms who talked about things happening ‘on time’ or, gasp, ‘early’. Like sleeping through the night. Grasping. Sitting up. Crawling. Walking. Talking. I hated being next to these women in doctors offices and clinics, so giddy with excitement at their baby’s first anything. Bragging. Complaining. ‘She never stops talking. She gets into everything! Makes the biggest messes. She runs in and wakes me every morning. She eats all the time. And with such ease.’ Ok, I added the last one for effect. It was difficult being around those first time moms.
Unless their child had a disability too. OR Unless they had a child with a disability too. That’s where I belonged. Even though now, I too, had a baby that could possibly do all of those things listed above. Early. On time. But it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter when Tallula did anything. We got excited about everything and anything but mostly we were filled with a sense of awe and wonder. Because we knew what it was like to wait and hope and believe. Then we knew what it was like to accept. To understand. To acknowledge. And move forward.
Tallula and I attended a babies group this year one morning a week at Sebastian’s previous nursery school. The class was filled with new moms. Some moms were like I was with Sebastian. New to diagnosis. Or an unknown/no diagnosis. Scared. Tired. Overwhelmed. Some moms were the moms I never wanted to be around. Except they weren’t. Because they were there. Mixed in with the rest of us. The class was a mix of typical and non-typical babies and their moms and sometimes their dads. Some moms had other kids and some this was their first. Some of the babies had a diagnosis and needs and some didn’t.
I watched Tallula help those that needed helping and challenge those that didn’t; sharing a toy or taking one away. I watched her make friends with everyone. I watched myself open up to moms that didn’t know what it was like to be one of us, the mom with the exceptional child. And I listened to moms that were just learning and finding their way in this new type of club.
Tallula and I. We belonged. And it felt wonderful. All because of Sebastian and his pure, exceptional, awesomeness.