If you have been following for the past month or so, you know about my daughter’s diagnosis of Mild Cerebral Palsy. She is now 3 and the happiest little girl I have ever met. Every person that meets her cannot help but fall in love with her bubbly personality and beautiful little smile. When we got the news of her diagnosis, our hearts broke for her. It was very difficult to swallow the news that Abigail has this disorder. Now about 2 months after accepting that I am a parent of a special needs child, I have noticed a few changes in myself.
1. I became more grateful.
I started to realize how fortunate I am to have a healthy and happy daughter. As I walk through the halls at the pediatric hospital that Abigail attends therapy at, I pass so many children who will never be able to walk, talk, or even make it to their next birthday. I am thankful that I am able to carry my daughter around every day, even when it is exhausting, because there are so many parents out there that can not.
2. I started to appreciate the little things.
I stopped thinking about all of the things that Abigail couldn’t do. I started looking at all of the things that Abigail is able to do. She is able to communicate and is learning more and more speech every day. She is able to move, she is able to crawl, she is able to use her Kaye walker to get around our home and the store. She is in therapy weekly, working closer and closer to her goals.
3. I became more patient and positive.
I stopped getting frustrated when Abigail was unable to do a task. It is not that Abigail did not want to do the task, it was that she is physically unable and that is not her fault at all. I slowed down, I gave her the extra help that she needed and I was there to praise every little thing that she accomplishes!
4. I stopped comparing.
For almost 2 years, it was impossible not to see children the same age or younger then Abigail meeting milestones before she did. I was always looking at other families stories of how late their child walked or talked. It was a horrible feeling. I needed to stop comparing and just focus on her. She is moving at her own pace and that is okay. I stumbled across the quote “Your speed does not matter, forward is forward” and that is something that I now live by.
I feel like all of these changes only made me a better parent.
Abigail’s diagnosis only made me love her more.
Thank you for reading