God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Two little words.....

A few weeks ago, two little words entered Brenden's vocabulary that I have always been very careful not to introduce to him. Two words that I will not allow him to use on a daily basis. Jonathan and I try very hard to focus on Brenden's abilities rather than his disabilities. We have worked very hard over the past three years to help him reach his potential. Lots of therapy, sometimes maybe too much. Pushing him to his limit. Never giving up on him. I have always said that ten years down the road I don't want to look back and wish I had done more. While I have always accepted that Brenden will face many challenges, I haven't always accepted what doctors or statistics said. I realize that Brenden may need to use a wheelchair, but in my heart of hearts I have never given up on him walking. And I have to remind myself that walking with a walker is still considered walking!! I try very hard to push Brenden to do his very best.
But two weeks ago, two words came out of his mouth that I wish hadn't....."I can't." He was trying to climb up in his bed, which he has been doing for a few months now. I've seen him get in bed by himself tons of times. But for some reason, at that moment, he was struggling a bit. He just couldn't seem to get his legs up under him to get up. He asked me for help and said "Mommy, I can't." I responded that I knew he could do it, told him to get down and try again. And he did. 10 seconds later he was up in that bed. Since that day, he has said "I can't" several times. And each time I make him do whatever it is he's trying to accomplish. Just yesterday he was trying so hard to climb up into his recliner. I knew he could do it so I showed him what to do, how to push off with his legs, and pull with his arms. Then I put him back down and told him to do it. Guess what? He did it. And then told me to clap for him and to text Daddy to tell him. He was proud of himself because he accomplished something that for him, was hard. I want him to realize that he can do anything he puts his mind to. That giving up isn't an option.
These two little words are part of many's vocabulary. I so vividly remember when I was in labor with Brenden. I had a very hard and fast labor with no epidural (until I reached 10 cm) and I can't count how many times I told the doctor "I can't" and BEGGED her to just give me a c-section (true story folks!). Needless to say, I pushed him out and looking back am proud of myself. A few months ago I was on my first 15 mile run..."I can't" went through my mind pretty much the whole 15 miles! But I kept remembering that this was something Brenden and many other kiddos with SB really can't do. I had to step back and realize that yes, I can do it! I had to be thankful that my legs allowed me to walk, especially run. Hopefully you get the point. When you think you can't do something....take a step back and really think about it, and I bet you really can do it.

Madelynn in her Valentine's dress....not sure what that look on her face is all about!

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