Monday, March 23, 2015

Sometimes It's Just Easier

Here comes the truth train again....choo choo!

*Disclaimer: I realize that all too often these days I open up the doors to my crazy mind and let everything come out. These truth moments are just that: truth moments for me at the time. It doesn't mean 'everything is awesome' and it doesn't mean it's all hard times. It's just a result of what I'm swimming in these days. I don't write these types of posts to be a downer, or in hopes of pity for Ruby. It's just my cathartic way of working through parenthood: for Ruby and the other two knuckleheads.

I am all for inclusion. So for it. The pros for Ruby, the pros for the other kids, the pros for the school, the pros for the church, the pros for the community. We are practicing it now and planning to practice it in school, church and any other area we can for as long as we can. But, if I'm really really honest, sometimes it is just easier to not participate in inclusion.
Ugh. This is tough. I recently blogged about the D word. That plays into it sometimes, because it can be hard to surround myself with a room full of kids the same age as Ruby who have developed significantly beyond her. It isn't always easy to have her delays be so obvious. But more than that, it often stresses me out these days to be in some inclusion situations where we don't know the other families. We have had nothing but awesome times with friends on play dates and at church where Ruby interacts with other typical kids her age. But the situations where we encounter single-serving friends, or semester-long friends, those are hard. 
The moms and dads smile earnestly when they see Ruby. And they look me in the eye and genuinely tell me, "She's just adorable" or "She's so loving". But that smile changes after a few minutes of play. That smile becomes nervous when she starts to verbally protest to being held or sitting down (as all 2-year-olds do). Their laughter becomes stiff and a little forced when it becomes unclear if she will hug or tackle their child (as all 2-year-olds do). They break eye contact with her when her tongue hangs down her chin, mouth open, as she studies their face for longer than they're used to.
And halfway through the time spent at the park or class I notice that my shoulders have been tensed up and I've been clenching my jaw. Not because I worry about her hugging someone too hard, or because her tantrums are bad (because she has yet to even throw a tantrum), or because she's being rude with her staring, but because I feel overprotective. Overprotective of Ruby and the perception of Ruby. I know that everything she does will be scrutinized more than it would be for any typical child in the room because of her visible extra chromosome. How do I know? Because I was those moms that smiled stiffly and laughed nervously and looked away. Heck, I'm still that mom around some kids with other types of challenges. I think I've gotten more comfortable around most kids in our greater community since Ruby's birth, but I'm still a work in progress too.
So sometimes it's just easier for me to be with other moms who get it in a way only we can. Sometimes it's just easier because I can relax a little more when Ruby doesn't stand out. Sometimes it's just easier to be with friends that know us because they are comfortable with who Ruby is. Sometimes (choo choo!) it's just easier because when I'm in our community or with friends, then I can let Ruby be Ruby instead of trying to make her something she's not meant to be.

1 comment:

Rindy said... are beautiful my dear.