at rest

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On the couch watching So You Think You Can Dance with my sweet girl, little brown feet tucked snug underneath my pink pajama legs, I treasure the quiet. Just last night, we were together tightly on the couch as well, only it wasn’t relaxed. Too many nights, I spend the time holding her while she thrashes and cries, her little body longing for rest yet unable to find it. I long for her body and spirit to find freedom and release like we see in the dancers we’re watching.

More than any other prayer that I pray for my littlest, I pray that she finds peace. I think all kids need help learning how to regulate themselves – their emotions, their bodies, but this one, she just needs more help than most. Even while she sleeps, she isn’t at rest. Her whole body moves at every moment. Her legs kick non-stop, even when she’s in the deepest of sleep. We weigh her down with blanket after blanket. We wrap her tight in a sleeping bag stuffed with pillows. But in the summer, it’s too hot. It seems unbearably uncomfortable to cover her up, but too cruel to not help her body find equilibrium.

We continue to learn new ways to live. What worked for our children without sensory issues definitely doesn’t work for our youngest daughter. We fight public perception of her behavior. Honestly, we fight our own perception of her behavior. It’s so easy to blame ourselves, to get caught up in our own failures and to try to be stricter, require more of her, not ‘allow’ her to behave in certain ways. It just doesn’t work. We can’t help her learn to deal with her issues by force.

Fortunately, we have some pretty great professionals in our lives that counteract those feelings of inadequacy. They help us normalize what we’re seeing and feeling. They let us know that it’s really not just us, in spite of what we and the people surrounding us may think. We can rest with their encouragement that yes, there is a real problem, and no, it’s not poor parenting. In the midst of the hardest and longest of days, several of which have occurred this week, I desperately need to hear those words.

We go to therapy week after week where I can watch my sweet girl blossom with sensory input. I can watch her spirit calm almost like magic when she enters the barn and strokes the side of her horse before she begins her riding session. I can visibly see the difference hippotherapy makes, and it reassures me that we’re doing the right thing, that we’re headed down the right path for her. We learn coping mechanisms, we structure our days with purpose, we attempt new ideas, we buy new items to assist, and we pray, pray, pray for wisdom. It’s a long road we’ve been walking, and we have quite a long way to go. I just want us to get there with grace and compassion, both for our daughter and for ourselves.

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan