Why moms cry
This morning my sister reminded me of something I told one of the mums at Bright Eyes.
It was something that resonated with her and something I've said before to mums I've had in my care. It occurred to me that it might be something worth sharing with other mums- to maybe give the slightest bit of insight into the daily battles our mums face, also: because, I know, that truly lovely, kind and empathetic mums ( of disabled children or not) will understand and empathise with my message.
On many occasions I embrace my role in new Bright Eyes families lives as more than their early interventionist. I am also their external support, their sounding board and their understanding friend in this very new world of raising a visually impaired/disabled child. The parents I see come to me after many weeks and months of doctors, neurologists, genealogists, ophthalmologist, optometrists and specialists.
They've studied the inside of countless hospital waiting rooms, they've restrained their crying babies arms as she's been poked and prodded. Some have had to sign papers allowing doctors to sedate, cut open, X-ray, brain scan etc etc etc their precious children and then stand near by and watch it all happen.
They've been given report after report, referral, after referral and have heard opinion after opinion, and everything very scientifically worded and always with a gentle but very negative resolve.
Some of my parents dig in their child's eye socket to remove false eye balls each evening, some have to fight each day to keep a patch on their baby's 'strong' eye. Most come to me very cautiously and wary. All come in exhausted. On most occasions I am the first person in this specialist area to ever smile and laugh during our first meeting, point out the positives and offer a happy spin on the future. About 5 mins into our first meeting I see something change I their faces. I see, relief.
From that moment I know we are connected forever. I know I have their trust and I know they will allow me to do what I do, even on the days it seems hard. I know they will always be honest with me and I know we are now a team. Recently I found an SMS sent by one of our past mums. In the message she wrote " I loved you from that first day. Because I knew you could see that there was a big future for my son, just like I could. Nobody else could. I knew you believed. That's why I trusted you."
The mums I have cry.
They cry often and they cry greatly.
I do too sometimes. It's OK.
Y( baby girl I currently see) has the kindest, most loving and very proactive mum. She has spent countless hours with doctors and specialists and every time she has to takeY for follow ups and appointments she dreads every moment. But- she goes, she does what she has to and she pulls herself up and keeps moving forward. Recently she was phoned by a doctors rooms to bring her husband in ,leave Y at home, so the Doctor could return some results and 'discuss possible options.'
She saw me the day before the consult and as she climbed into the car she said " I just cry. I always sit in these offices, hear what they have to say- and I cry." She was exhausted. It was right then that I told her this- to keep her going and to remind her how freaking amazing she is at being Y's mom.
I told her- Every time you have to do this, every time you have to walk into one of these horrible situations, listen to a negative evaluation of your daughter and take in even more sadness. Cry. Do it. Cry. Sob. Wail. Let every inch of sad flow through you and feel all of it. Cry as much as you have. Cry! Cry because you are going to Remember this- every tear you cry is one more your child won't have to. You take it on, you take on all the worry, anxiety, uncertainty and sadness- you do it so she doesn't have to.
You Cry so that she doesn't have to.
If there is ever a reason in the world to cry- I'd say that's the best.
By the time you get home that evening you do everything as usual. You kiss her, cuddle her, play like you always do and go about your life with her. You've had another terrible day. But she'll never know it.
And That's why moms cry.
With love, as always