Wow...this will be easy, but maybe a little emotional. I don't miss the person I was before Hailey was born. I was uneducated and unaware. As a product of the 90s, I used the r-word not realizing how the word felt to others. I knew very little of the world of special needs. I was rather uneducated on Early Intervention, the important role it played in so many people's lives. It didn't affect me or my children so I didn't see it.
Embarrassingly I have to admit that I didn't not "see" people with special needs or their families. I saw through them and passed by without a second glance. I never interacted with them or tried to get to know them. Honestly, I don't remember seeing many people with special needs at all. I wasn't trying to be snobbish, I think it wasn't part of my life so I just didn't see anything. I don't miss that person who was self-centered. I prefer the "after Hailey" mom. The one who sees others. Chats with other families. Engages their children. Loves knowing more about them. Sees value in everyone's life. God makes no mistakes and we are all here on Earth for a purpose.
I don't miss the person who had never experienced the amazing hospital and staff that we have been introduced to at Cincinnati Children's. There are so many caring, dedicated professionals who make it their job to help children and families. Most of the staff we have encountered love their job and see my daughter as a beautiful little girl...not a number. I have also met amazing families. Families that are going through diseases and illnesses that I cannot imagine. I'm positive I will never ever forget the conversation I had with a grandmother whose 15 year old granddaughter has EB (Epidermolysis bullosa - where the skin blisters and "falls off"). The unconditional, unwavering love that grandmother had for her granddaughter touched me in a way that I cannot explain. The strength of that family of that young girl left me speechless.
I don't miss the person that didn't know the fabulous network of families both locally and in the cyber world. The people that have become a support system that I find invaluable. They welcomed me with open arms...there when I need to brag, there when I need to cry, there when I need more information or don't know where to turn. I've never felt so welcomed, so accepted. They've helped educate me in more than the world of special needs. Sometimes they are the nudge I need to get moving on something, the validation that I'm not going crazy or that I'm doing a good job.
I don't miss the person who moved at warp speed and didn't take time to celebrate the little things. Yes, our lives are busy but in a sense we have slowed down. We don't take as much for granted. We celebrate more things in our life.
I don't miss the seriousness of the "before Hailey" mom. I think we laugh more and love deeper. I've started to see the world through different eyes. It is amazing...how differently life and the world look now. I wouldn't change a thing and I don't miss anything about "before Hailey".
These pics have nothing to do with the topic, but it was interesting to see Hailey play with her little cousin this past weekend. She enjoyed herself, but I think he doesn't want to see her again for awhile :-)
|Hmm...what does he do?|
|Check this seat out.|
|Please help me before she does something!|
|For real, can anyone do something? I don't need this many bibs.|
|Finally, Hailey took a nap so Landon could rest....in peace and quiet :-)|