If you’ve got time to read one and only one post today, this would be it: I’m Jealous of You at Scary Mommy. Written by Lexi Sweatpants who blogs over at Mostly True Stuff, this is an honest and moving piece that resonates with mothers of special needs children like me.
And this is my comment to Lexi’s post:
I hear you, and I feel you. I have an eighteen-year-old young man with severe autism. He is nonverbal (I like to say pre-verbal, imagining that any day now, he will say something soon), has behavioral issues (aggression and self-injury), and requires 24/7 care. I know where the jealousy comes from; I have felt it too. It is from seeing our children miss out on so many things, and from having them face their disabilities over and over again, often without reward or respite. Each time my other son faces a milestone- a graduation, college- I cry. Happiness for the one who is growing in leaps and bounds, and sadness for the other who will always need me to be there for him. So yes, I feel the jealousy too. But when I do, I close my eyes and breathe deeply. Sometimes, I sing; other times, I pray. It passes slowly, but it does. Then tomorrow, I do it all over again.
And this is to a good friend, who understands what this post means to us, because she and her child lived through a horrific year with cancer:
It is hard, isn’t it? To want to be happy for others even when your own child is floundering? To want to appreciate their successes and not be jealous of theirs? I see parents post (pictures of) grades, recitals, college acceptance letters, and these are things that will be forever denied my Alphonse. I deal with bedwetting, with aggression and antipsychotic meds, with the frustration of being unable to say what he wants. But when I think about how loved my baby is despite all that he is not, I feel proud of ourselves too. And love, I think, is what makes the jealousy go away.
Read the piece, my friends. It’ll make you realize how lucky you really are.