Today, I’m worn out. I’m broken down and exhausted. I’m emptied of every ounce of patience and upbeat energy. My eyes don’t have any tears left to empty.
I’ve tried every strategy in my toolbelt and it all seems to come up short lately. I’ve been calm and accommodating. I’ve lost my cool and yelled. I’ve sobbed behind a closed door. I’ve laid awake at night wondering what on earth God was thinking and how in the world He thought I was capable of living this life.
I’ve raged and argued with God. I’ve told him how unfair this is. Unfair for my beautiful little boy. Unfair for me. Unfair for my husband. Unfair for our other child. And I’ve felt the guilt afterward for questioning His plan.
I’ve sat with my eyes slammed shut, hating this feeling of helplessness. And hating knowing that my son feels this and so much more every day. Then I broke down in a whole other wave of emotion.
Those diagnoses brought so much relief with them. We weren’t crazy. We weren’t failing as parents. These daily battles had a name. A cause. ADHD, ASD, ODD, DMDD. But they also stole so much. If it was my crappy parenting that was resulting in these struggles, I could read and research and fix everything. I could DO something. Sure I can still research and advocate for therapies and implement schedules and other strategies to help him. But even as we watch him make progress in learning how to cope and navigate social interactions, I know that this isn’t going away. This won’t magically end at a certain age or after x amount of therapies or medications.
In recent days, I’ve been hit, kicked, scratched, and chased my running child praying to God that he would remain safe. I’ve consulted therapists and talked with my husband. I’ve watched, baffled as the switch flips again and suddenly he is laughing and playing like we weren’t just navigating the largest meltdown I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t trade my beautiful boy for the world, but to say I wouldn’t take these struggles from him if I could would be a bold faced lie. I love him with every fiber of my being, but that doesn’t make these days any less heartbreaking when I can’t reach him.
But tomorrow, I will get up, ask God to give me more strength and wisdom to face it all over again. I will look into my boy’s eyes, whether they be filled with joy on that day or raging anger, defiance, and pain. I will research more strategies. I will scoop him up in a giant hug when I don’t know what else I can do. I will see all the ways he is so magnificent. I will cheer obnoxiously over every seemingly small milestone and progress. I will walk back to him when he is going through regressions.
Because he’s worth it. He’s worth every sleepless night. He’s worth every panic filled moment. All the joy and hilarious moments of unfiltered honesty he brings into our lives is worth it. Watching his eyes light up when he talks about video games, coding, and legos is worth it. Sitting in awe as he shows me the latest math problem he’s taught himself is worth it. Those hugs, fiercer and stronger than any I’ve ever known are worth it. Being his mom will always be worth it.