Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wonderfully Different

99.9% of the days I'm really good at avoiding the comparison trap, today did not fall into that statistic. Admitting that there are days when I struggle with the fact that Abby has difficulties that other children her age don't, is hard for me. There is a part of me that is afraid that if I acknowledge my struggles I'm rejecting her, or that I find her lacking in some way. When I really start thinking about it though, I know that I wouldn't have her any other way - well, okay, maybe I'd ask for a touch more obedience, but that's it - promise.

All smiles for Dada before the show!
I think my problem today was that I was vulnerable, I wasn't feeling strong today, and on those days, it is hard not to get discouraged about so many things. School for me was rough - disappointing and draining, and therefore I was really looking forward to hearing about Abby's wonderful day. See, she'd gotten to go see her first live show, "Fancy Nancy". The bonus was that it was being performed at the campus where Jason works, so he was going to be able to go with her. He even sent me a video of Abby sitting in her seat and saying, "Hi!" to me before the show started. Unfortunately, about four minutes into the show, the loud volume began to scare her, and she and Dad made a hasty retreat. To give her credit, Jason did say it was even too loud for him. So, Abby and Daddy did the rounds, visiting his co-workers and then ended up in his office, watching TV until it was time for her to go back to school. The news was a little disappointing, but she still had fun, so no great loss.

I was still looking forward to hearing about her day, but then the bus got home, and today's report was not good. I didn't get the usual lines about her being cheeky, but too cute - no, today she was getting out of her seat and sassing back, along with a few other things. She knew Mom was not happy, so she apologized to Miss Kathy and we headed into the house. Okay, another little bump in the road, but maybe there would be a nice note in her backpack about how well she had worked today.

Upon opening her backpack I found there was something for me, her report card. To be fair there were so many positive things. Abby is playing well with others, she is initiating conversations with her peers, she recognizes over half of her alphabet, and most of her colors (darn that black and brow - why must they look so much alike?). In short she is right on track for meeting all of her goals - great, right? Yes, great! The problem was that my rough day had left my mind open to thoughts of what other kids her age were doing, and that's when it happened - I fell right into the trap of focusing on how she is different. The sadness quickly followed, with a guilt chaser close behind.

Before things could turn into a full fledged wallow, Abby came running to me from the other room telling me excitedly that she had gone to see "Fancy Nancy" today. She was so thrilled and told me that she had such a good time with her friend Olivia. In the end, the fact that she'd missed most of the show didn't matter to her. It was something different and it was wonderful - like Abby. I realized I was focusing on me, and not on her. She was happy, she'd had a great day, she wasn't letting the struggles or disappointments drag her down. I admire that about her, it is so different than the way I operate - wonderfully different, don't you think?

This is the actress in her coming out. She has
always been spectacular at sticking that lip out.

See....I told you.


  1. I would love to say this first year went by without comparisons....but then I would be lying. I did okay until now....the other one year olds walking and talking has this mom feeling down and guilty...why do the two always come together. I just want you to know how fabulous I think Abby is. I love reading your blog every day because it gives me so much hope for the future....it always puts a smile on my face...and I always hope that we will be as good at parenting Hailey as you two are parenting Abby! Tomorrow will be better!

    1. Thank you, Michelle. I get so disappointed with myself when I do compare. Luckily there aren't too many days like today. On a side note, Jason mentioned just the other day how well it seems Hailey is doing. From the pictures and stories you post one can clearly see how bright and loved she is. That's something we set out to do with Abby - bombard her with love and acceptance from the very beginning. I remember at one of her first "formal" evaluations before she started preschool, one of the psychologists said, "Well, she's very confident." I loved that!

  2. Oh, I forgot.....I love, love, love the pouty pics of Abby!

  3. Thanks for sharing this one, E. It's beautifully and poignantly written. You remind ALL of us that we are ALL wonderfully different. xoxoxoxo