We writers (am I a writer?) are a selfish bunch. We use our words strategically, we use them to our advantage, and we use them with extreme care. Our words are our reputation, our work, our soul.
I remember when I was quite young, effortlessly effusing my emotion on paper – taking for granted the gravity of my gift – believing that easy A’s on term papers were the ultimate reward.
I was wrong. So very wrong. As I often have been in life. Though isn’t that what’s beautiful? Being wrong. Owning your own imperfection.
I can say a thousand times over in writing what I could never articulate in person.
Writing is cathartic. Writing is a comfortable vulnerability. It allows just enough anonymity that one might actually inherit a false sense of confidence. The confidence that lends itself to your admittance that you have absolutely no idea what you are doing.
It’s true. There are situations we cannot write ourselves out of.
Have I mentioned that I’m absolutely terrified right now? I cannot comprehend how someone who leaves wet towels on 650 thread count sheets and considers Grape Laffy Taffy a serving of fruit is 50% responsible for the future of a human life.
These decisions we’re faced with now, I know that they are nothing in the face of what is to come, but what’s on the line is a child’s (MY CHILD’S) happiness, success, his future.
We are searching for a new Occupational Therapist, after three years in a blissful bubble of ignorance, nodding sympathetically as other parents bemoaned their insurance, therapist, scheduling, financial woes. We had no idea what it meant to find 1) a clinic-based practice that accepts our insurance (why we are losing our beloved current OT), 2) someone who has availability that can be accommodated into his already hectic schedule, 3 )a clinic that is not a 60 mile round trip we have to make twice weekly during rush hour, 4) a therapist that doesn’t suck.
Not only do we need to meet the prior requirements, but we need someone who will focus on Peter’s specific sensory needs. Someone with DIR/Floortime experience, that won’t sit him at a table and practice cutting out circles and writing his name (not that those are not important skills) but will actually meet him where he’s at and incorporate the heavy sensory work he needs while being cognizant of how intrinsically linked emotion/anxiety/social struggles are to the approach.
It’s a lot to ask. It’s a lot to shoulder as parents. I’m so grateful that Gus is the husband and father that he is. Despite my control freakishness somehow he always manages to counter my irrational fears and desperately impulsive decisions with levity. Yet still, neither of us can shake the fact that ultimately we could make the wrong decision. We could put him in the hands of someone who can’t help him move forward, or might not understand his unique personality – have the patience required – and maybe we’ll waste precious days, weeks, months, dollars and our child’s future will suffer for it.
This is only a pop quiz in the grand scheme of things though. It’s not just about finding a new OT. It’s about the super-big-scary transitions that are coming. It’s about that looming IEP meeting that will decide his Kindergarten placement and inevitably the trajectory for his educational “career” – and what is right? Where does inclusion hurt more than it helps? Where does self-containment thwart his social/emotional growth? What if we choose the wrong thing? Is there a do over?
Because we have some very specific and important decisions to make starting…right now. We have an amazing support system of family, friends, professionals that we trust dearly: but for the first time it feels that that we are at a fork in the road, there isn’t a tried and true game plan to follow. We have to choose which path is right for our child, our family, and our his future.
First we have to figure out what the road less traveled is. Then we have to decide if taking it will make all the difference.
What would Robert Frost do anyway?