Last week, I introduced you to the ever fabulous Anchel. I was able to twist her rubber arm enough to guest post for me here. She’s pretty awesome, and I’m sure you’ll love her as much as I do! Thanks for blogging for me, hon! You’re welcome anytime! There are several links within this post for your reading pleasure about Anchel, her family and her beautiful daughter Syona who is almost 2. She’s a cutie for sure!
Why Cerebral Palsy Doesn’t Rule This Roost-
Confession: More than anything, my two-year-old daughter, Syona, is a complete diva.
Confession number two: It’s all our fault. She’s our first (and for now, only) daughter, the first granddaughter and niece on my family’s side and the first local grandchild on my husband’s side of the family. I think confession number two pretty much explains the first confession.
She also loves music, but is pretty picky about her choices (currently Bruno Mars is a favourite. Before you ask, no, I’m not kidding. Michael Jackson is also a playlist staple, as is will.i.am’s Sesame Street What I Am song , has slept through the night a total of FOUR times in her 23 months on this earth (yes, we’re tired) and really enjoys a variety of foods. We try and visit our local park on an almost-daily basis because Syona loves the swings. She’s starting to pay attention to other kids, which is kind of a cool thing to watch. She’s extremely strong- willed and opinionated. And knock-on-wood, Syona is mostly a happy kid.
Guess what? She also happens to have cerebral palsy.
Guess what else? Cerebral palsy is not the defining part of our life.
When we first got Syona’s diagnosis it overwhelmed our whole existence. It forced us to look at our life, let go of our expectations and really, genuinely, accept things as they happened . Not an easy task for a (former) type-A personality like myself. We even made some pretty big changes to our life. I was always a career-driven gal and assumed I would return to work following my year of maternity leave. I didn’t. Instead I spent the first several months as a newly-minted Stay-At-Home-Mom figuring out Syona’s therapies, our schedule and filling out paperwork (essentially I was her administrative assistant). And while I left my career of strategic communications and public relations behind (for now), I got back to my journalism school roots and am the special needs parenting blogger over at Today’s Parent.
As the months have progressed things have settled down. Our schedule remains hectic, which I expect will continue (and I think it’s the same for most families, special needs or not). I don’t spend the days focused on the fact that she can’t sit independently, crawl, or walk. I don’t spend my time worried about her lack of speech or the seemingly constant stream of drool coming from her mouth. I do spend my time praying that tonight will be the start of her sleeping through the night, that she will eat a lot of food at her next meal and crossing my fingers that two specialist appointments don’t get booked at the same time.
One thing that cerebral palsy and Syona’s complicated beginnings have given me is a different perspective. It sounds like a cliché but I celebrate the fact that she is here, each and every day (yes even the moments that she annoys me more than any living being on earth, that underlying appreciation of her life is always there). I celebrate what she can do all the time. I laugh each time she giggles when anyone says the word “Funny.” I smile when I see the sheer joy on her face as we push her on the swings. And my heart swells with pride when she makes a loud “Haaaa” breath out sound as she attempts to say “Hi.”
There are a lot of people out there that don’t seem to understand how we can be so happy when our child has been diagnosed with a condition that means a future of unknowns. It’s simple. Most days, she’s not my little girl who has cerebral palsy. She’s just my little girl.
How do you keep balance in your family?
Anchel Krishna is a freelance writer and mother of one in the Toronto area. With an educational background in journalism and professional experience in strategic communications, Anchel now focuses on taking care of her toddler while attempting to string together coherent sentences. She is also the special needs parenting blogger for Today’s Parent. You can connect with her on Twitter or email her at Anchel.firstname.lastname@example.org.