the dilemma of the special needs mama: to expect more or to redefine the expectation

This morning I found myself in yet another medical room with my daughter.  One more specialist, one more opinion, one more door opening to a thousand more questions.  Appointment number three for this week.  Again not anything new for us.

I explain once again my daughter's history.  I explain once again the list of challenges that she faces daily.  I explain once again what I hope to gain from this type of appointment.  I ask some of the same questions I have been asking for two and a half years.  I wonder in my  heart if what I have done is enough.  I try to explain why this particular visit was so long in coming.  "You see, it just hadn't risen to the front of the triage list of all the needs for not just this daughter but my entire family.  But we are here now and we are hoping for some new information on what should come next."  Silently I hope for some great new idea to come spilling forth from their mouth.

I am assured by this new specialist that I am a wonderful mother and that I have been doing all the right things.  She tries to encourage me by telling me that I understand way more than most of the parents who come through her door.  And then the words that we so often hear.... Your daughter is not at all what I expected from reading all of her history... she is amazing... she is doing so well.

Yes. and Yes.  and Yes.  But my heart still longs for more for her.  I don't want to hear that she is doing so well all things considered.  I want to push beyond that for her.  My daughter doesn't want a different expectation.  My daughter wants to be able to achieve the same things all the girls in her class can achieve.  And most days I don't want to settle for less than that.  But it makes me wonder.  Have we set our dreams too high?  Should we settle for what professionals seem to think is acceptable "all things considered"?  These are questions that I think all mothers walk with.   Especially those of us who are parenting children with challenges.  It is a daily dance I navigate that I pray sets my daughter up for a win.  I hope that all these appointment and therapy sessions allow her to chase her dreams and to see herself, not as "all things considered", but a unique creation of her loving Father God who can go beyond the expectations of all of us.

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