Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dreams and Aspirations




"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations, I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."
- Louisa May Alcott




A question was posed on our Facebook page:
What dreams and aspirations do you hold for your children with special needs?

The responses varied and were very interesting to read. 

Heather said: Wow big question. Had so many pre-children but now that they are here and everything we have gone through so far and know we have to go through in the future, all I want for them is to be happy, understood and the best they can be.

Juliana replied: I hold more dreams and aspirations than most people see possible for my son. And then there are those who believe that one day he will surprise me with much more still.... No matter how much heart and hard work I put into my believing, I would find it difficult to keep going without positive support. 

Betty said: I dream my non-verbal daughter will talk.

Bri agreed: Betty hit it on the head for me. I wish I could afford real speech therapy for her. I am so happy physically nothing is wrong with her, I just want overall healing for my child. I will NEVER give up on her!

Jill shared: I keep my aspirations small yet they are very big... I would love for my daughter to be able to have a conversation, I would love for her to be able to read and write and to take care of her own basic needs. These are things most parents take for granted. Additionally I would love for my daughter to never take a raised hand or foot to punch or kick herself.

It's amazing how dreams and aspirations vary from child to child, special needs or not. I have three girls, three very different personalities and versatile abilities. When I was pregnant with my oldest, Little Miss M, I knew nothing of the path we would walk together. I'm trying to remember what my dreams and aspirations were for her when I knew nothing. I cannot even remember. What I know now, is that I have daily dreams and aspirations, and I have long term ones as well. I know that each milestone we achieve and each set-back we embrace completely shape those dreams. 

When Little Miss M was just about three, I dreamed of hearing "Mommy". It seemed like something so small, but I earned that title - it was mine. Hearing her say it felt like a dream come true. At almost eight years old, Little Miss M has her own dreams and I have mine. Little Miss M wants to be a Kindergarten Teacher. I want her to be healthy enough not to miss the majority of her third grade school year. Little Miss M wants to go to college, I want her to be able to walk across the stage at graduation. 

There are dreams I don't share with her yet. I dream she'll wake up every day with a smile. She wasn't smiling this morning, and it broke my heart and sent me into "Mommy-mode". I dream she'll hug me every night and still be able to say "I love you Mommy". 

I don't know if Little Miss M will be a teacher or not. She's eight. When I was eight, I wanted to be a hair stylist. I had no intention of being a teacher or a stay-at-home mom; dreams change. I do know that Little Miss M will make a change in this world. She never gives up.  She smiles through the tears and she loves with her whole heart - even if she can't express it through words. 

I guess that's what I dream for her now. That other people are touched by her and as inspired by her, as I am daily. I dream that she's happy and always knows how much she's loved. 

Perspective certainly changes the way your dreams are shaped. Since confronting seizures, autism, illness, ADHD, movement disorders, and everything else - my view on what's important has altered significantly. Bottom line is that none of us know what tomorrow will bring, so all we can do is love our children unconditionally and give them every single support we are able to. They will each write their own dreams, it is our job to help them in every way we possibly can.

We would love to hear your dreams and aspirations for your child(ren) in the comments below.

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Amanda is a mom to three little girls who continuously keep her on her toes and made many of her dreams come true.

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