Monday, January 25, 2016

Dear Julia, You Are Not the Problem

Dear Julia,

I read a post last night when I was trying to fall asleep written for parents like me, parents of extra special kids like you - and what I read really bothered me because it seemed to be saying that life is really really hard for people like me because of kiddos like you. I read it twice and then a third time to make sure I hadn't read it wrong or missed the point (I do that sometimes), but again and again and again what I heard most of all was the author saying how hard life is because of kids like you. 

And, well, that didn't sit too well with me babe, so I had to speak up - because while the author may have been speaking for himself, he absolutely, 100% does NOT speak for me. 

Yes, life can be stinkin' hard - but Jules, I pray you hear this one thing from me if nothing else - the hard in life is NEVER because of you.

You, my love, are never the problem. 

Neither are you the battle. 

You never cause me to feel embarrassed, defeated or done. Other parts of life do that for sure, probably a little too much lately, but never you. You are not my hard part, you are not a problem I endure.

Like most people, there are things in my life that sometimes make it hard for me to want to face the day... Some days my problems come in the form of work stuff: Meetings, deadlines, reports I don't want to write, and paperwork I'd rather not review.

Sometimes it's relationship stuff: A fight with your dad I don't want to apologize for, a misunderstanding with a friend that turned into a 6 month standoff, hurt feelings and unspoken resentments threatening to boil over in every direction. 

Sometimes it's the stuff in my own head that's been there for as long as I can remember: Insecurities, unfulfilled dreams, 5 extra pounds, repeated mistakes and the mocking voice on replay reminding me: "Still not good enough, still not good enough."  

And on many days, like this morning for example, the battle is with the stuff impacting you. The problems you have to deal with are also my problems. Seizures I can't make stop. Needs I can't meet because I can't understand what it is you need. Systems meant to help that actually feel more like a burden. Fears I'm missing something that might make life better for you, criticism and misunderstanding and hurtful actions from people who don't understand our lives. 

Those are my problems. Those are my hard things.  Those are the "unending battle" things, the "I feel defeated and embarrassed" things, the "I'm kind of at the end of my rope things."

You, Julia Anne, are none of those things. 
You are not my hardest thing. 
Not by a long shot. Not by the longest shot to the farthest galaxy.

And let's be honest, this is not because every single moment with you is blissful and easy and a walk in the park - no, this is because you and the hard things that sometimes happen with you are NOT the same thing.

Seizures are hard, but you are not seizures.
Tantrums are hard, but you are not a tantrum. 
Lack of communication is hard, but you are not refusing to communicate.
Judgement from others is hard, but you are not the one judging.

You, my precious daughter, are not the hard things. In fact, when I look at you the hard things get easier.

So while it is very true that life can be hard, and life can be lonely, and life can feel defeating at times and we all need to hear that we aren't alone and it's OK to feel down...  It is also true that everyone can feel these things, not just parents like me with kiddos like you. Being human is hard. Being alive means we have problems. No one person is the cause of our problems and you, Julia, are not the cause of mine. 

You, sweet girl, are a reason to figure out the hard things and deal with my problems. You are a driving force to be a better me.  You are the source of so much of my happiness and the reason for most of my pride. You've added to my life purpose, wonder and meaning. 

You are my good thing. 
My very best thing.

And if anyone ever claims to speak on my behalf and states otherwise, it is a lie.


Your grateful mom



  1. I never have words for what a gift your posts are. Truly earned wisdom that is. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for those words - they mean a lot!

  2. I never have words for what a gift your posts are. Truly earned wisdom that is. Thank you.

  3. Replies
    1. Sorry I missed replying to this - thank you!!

  4. So beautiful! Thank you for posting this!

    1. Sorry I missed replying - thank you so much!

  5. Aloha. I just started reading your blog. This post touched my heart. Thank you! It was beautifully written. Julia is blessed to have you!

    1. Thanks so much for reading and for the kind words!!

  6. Systems that are supposed to help that feel like a burden..I relate to that a lot. My daughter is never a burden to me. I've never been stressed because of something she did. More often it's been because of things other people did in relation to her and her condition. Other people can make it hard. Other people cause me stress. Never my little girl.