Friday, February 16, 2007

Heavy Heart

I had a breakdown last night. The funny thing is it was not a bad day. The kids and I hung out in the morning, did a little grocery shopping, went to the car wash (which has turned out to be Clare's new fear unfortunately), then had our quiet time. After quiet time, we were off to a Valentine's party. Jamie, as usual, had a grand time - what's not to love about passing out Valentines and candy, decorating and eating cupcakes, and playing all kinds of games. Clare, on the other hand, alternately sat on the floor in the living room with the six-month old baby that was there or clung to my hip fussing and watching the other children. When we got home, I just started crying (poor Shawn - for no apparent reason, as far as he could see, until I explained).

There are times when it absolutely gets to me. The whole developmental delays, Williams syndrome, heart defects, having a child who is not the same. The same can be boring, I know it is. (Trust me, being a stay-at-home mom, I definitely have those moments when we need to jive up our days and routine.) But the same can also be comforting - people understand what you're going through, you're in familiar territory, there are usually no nasty surprises. I love my group of friends and would never leave our group because of these feelings, but at the same time, I feel so alone sometimes with them. Clare wants to be involved with what everyone else is doing. She understands that she is being excluded, that she is not participating. Not on purpose, but because that's just the way it is. She knows in her almost 2-year old brain that she's not making the craft, playing the game, running around and laughing like the other kids. But I don't know how to help her. And that hurts me. I don't want her to have to play on the floor with the baby while the other kids are partying it up. At the same time, it's so hard toting her around (especially being seven months pregnant) - when we came home from the party, my right leg was killing me from constantly doing things while holding Clare so she could be somewhat involved (or at least a spectator). It's selfish, selfish, selfish of me, and I feel like a horrible mother to have these feelings. I want the best for Clare, and I want her to succeed and have her accomplishments, but I also wish it was a whole lot easier. I don't want her to have to struggle to do everything. To be challenged at every step. Why can't just one thing come easy? I watch Jamie do things now and think of how he was when he was Clare's age, and it seems so easy for him. I want Clare to just have one little piece of that ease. From Day One, I feel as if it's been one thing after another with her.

I am so grateful for my WS-mommy community out there who do understand these feelings. I just wish you guys lived closer! I wish our beautiful, "different" children got a chance to play together. I hope someday Clare gets to meet other children who are like her, and she doesn't always have to be the one who is different.

Sometimes I feel as if it is MY heart that is broken.


Auntie Becky said...

I know I could never offer any insight or words that would help in anyway, as I've never been where you are or experienced these feelings first hand. I wish I could give some wonderful words of wisdom, but all I have are my prayers. On the outside looking in, I see a wonderful, patient, loving mom who only wants the best for her chilren. I hope things brighten up for you.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Hi Teresa,
I have been feeling so much of what you describe. I'm still pretty new to this, and my son is younger, but I feel the weight of what is coming as he is slowly falling out sync with his peers. I find myself constantly going back and forth in my mind between thinking/feeling/ saying to my family and friends "Don't treat him differently, he's just like your kids!", and "Wait! But he can't do that, he's not like your kids!" If I can't get it straight, how can I expect others to either (sigh).

Sandra (Sean, 12 mos. WS and Nicole, 4)

Kerry said...

I hear you. I had a few friends have babies when I did and they are miles ahead. My girlfriend had a baby last summer and he is just now starting to move past Brady as well. I'd like to think that hopefully one day he'll find his niche... but in the meantime I struggle to find our own playrgoup setting that was easy to do with Michael 8 years ago!

Wait... if we both drive 45 minutes, we can meet! :) If only it was that easy :(

Anonymous said...

Teresa - How I wish there were something I could say or do to ease your broken heart. Just know that we are ready to lend an ear and that we all have you (& the whole family) in our every prayer. Life isn't 'fair', and we have to do our best with what we have. It seems to me that you (& Shawn) have far exceeded any expectations put on you. You are the shinning examples for parents of challenged children. Don't forget those raging hormones will soon subside, too! Love & kisses to all of you, Aunt Joan

Nancy said...

Man, I hate those moments. And they do sneak up on you in the middle of a good day sometimes.

I'm glad you can express how you feel, and I hope that helps you get rid of some of the yuckkines. I know it helps me.

You aren't in this alone, although it feels like it sometimes (this town makes me feel like that a lot).

Thinking of you lots.

Christina said...

Auntie Becky said it right - you are such a wonderful Mom... and part of what makes you wonderful is that you allow yourself to have the emotional moments. They don't make you selfish - they make you human. If Tee Jay and I can do half the job that you and Shawn amazingly succeed at, we'll be lucky. With all my love and prayers, Christina

Every minute counts.... said...

I had the same kind of day on Thurs. I sat and watched my daughter playing at pre-school and I was crying for no reason. It really has not gotten any easier with age, some days I think it is harder because the gap seems to get bigger. BUT like a wise friend of mine told me...She is happy with herself and maybe that's enough. Maybe someday I will think that's enough until then I think mom's are always the hardest on themselves.Give yourself a break. It's not a easy road to travel. You are doing a good job..look how beautiful your kids are!!

Noel (mom to Abi 4 WS)

Aspen said...

Teresa, I know exactly what you mean. I had almost the exact scenario happen this weekend. During Daven's cousin's first birthday. He was first of all, overwhelmed by all the commotion and secondly simply watching the other children run circles around him. Even being over a year older than his cousin and another 1 year old at the party...he seemed to be the "baby" of the party.

It was all I could do to get through it without breaking down at the party. Luckily I waited until we got home to have my meltdown. A play date with all the WS children would be a dream come true!

Amy said...


Lisa R said...

I hate it when that happens and as Tatum gets older it seems to happen more. I am sure being Preg doesn't help with all the emotions...I can not wait for the girls to play one of these days.

Jennifer said...

I just read this entry and it brought me to tears...I can so relate since I am 5 months pregnant and my son with WS is 21 months. Clare reminds me a lot of Lucas in her development and even the way she looks. I think they look a lot alike (adorable, of course!). It would be great to live near someone with a child with WS, wouldn't it?
Jen Breeding