I’ve written before about the guilt I can sometimes feel about J’s additional needs. Well today’s guilt is about my own feelings of ‘grief’. I know J is here and healthy and noisy and amazing, but there’s that part of me that mourns the child I had seen in my head and dreams whilst pregnant.
Today is a day where that sense of mourning, followed by guilt kicked in.
We FINALLY had snow this morning. It wasn’t much but it was enough to get me excited at introducing J to it properly. I had planned to go out and build a (small) snowman and throw snowballs and generally have fun running around the field. I love snow so I have been excited to relive my snow memories through my child.
My husband and I got J in his snowsuit, complete with wellies, hat and scarf. J looked adorable and he seemed excited to get outside and see this white stuff he had watched from the window.
We got to the field and I let go of J’s hand for him to run off which J would normally love to when faced with a big, empty playing field. J shook him head…he stayed on the pavement next to me. I went on the field and beckoned him. J tentatively came to me but he looked unsure and was taking great care with where he walked.
He was just trying to get across the field and back on the pavement. So, that was our snow day. J went in his buggy and we continued to my parents for Sunday lunch.
I had this weird weight in my chest. I felt sad that was all the experience was. Then it hit me that of course J was going to be anxious about snow. It’s a new texture. It’s wet. It’s cold…and these are all things J doesn’t like (hence why food is an issue). We’ve been working on desensitising activities for the last few months but I know the progress is slow. I was naive or just plain stupid to think that snow is something J would want to touch and be involved in.
That’s when the feelings of grief came in. I grieved for the child that I had watched run around with me in the snow. I grieved for the child who I was having conversations about how cold the snow was, and what to use for the snowmans eyes.
Then the guilt came in. I have a healthy and beautiful boy who is amazing to me in every way. I carried a child to term (ish-one week early). I have seen my friends go through miscarriage. They have truelly grieved a child. All I grieve is a figment of my own imagination. That’s selfish, that’s ridiculous…but apparently it’s normal.
I have done some reading over the years on additional needs. Actually, a lot of reading…and essay writing for my degree. It’s normal to have this idea of parenthood in your mind, and to feel sad when reality doesn’t match up. It’s not easy having a child with additional needs and it does affect every part of your life.
I need to let myself feel my feelings. But, I need to make sure that I appreciate what I do have. I need to remind myself that I don’t have a crystal ball so I don’t know the amazing and wonderful moments that are to come. In years to come J may be less sensitive to textures and we will have our snow days. If we don’t, then I’m sure I will have a HUGE bank of wonderful memories to take its place.
So…I’m not just a fruit loop. I’m just a Mummy ❤