My [special needs] daughter will turn 16 soon… and I hate it. Not for the reasons you think but because she has these big dreams of a huge Sweet 16 Birthday Party and I am going to disappoint her. 2 Reasons: 1. It’s a pandemic and parties are generally frowned upon unless you are part of the government or celebrity pools – yes, I went there. And, of course, the fuckin obvious… 2. She’s a special needs child and no one will show up.
I’m not writing this because I am looking for pity (I feel like I have to say that in every post)… I am writing this because I am frustrated, mad, sad, and brokenhearted for my girl. No one wants her to celebrate these major milestones more than I do.
Instead, her father and I planned a weekend away in Grapevine, TX at Great Wolf Lodge in hopes that this is some sort of “fair trade” on something she wanted for her birthday over something she got.
I have this blog so I can talk about the things in life that frustrate me (and others), the things that need to be discussed and all the other things that happen. But there are things that can’t be avoided- like birthdays where I feel like I have to overcompensate because I can’t stand to see her heart broken and alone. These teenage years have been so lonely for her, especially since the Pandemic started.
Her sweet innocent heart doesn’t understand that people are generally selfish in nature because she’s NOT SELFISH. She loves with all her heart and cares more deeply than any person I have ever met in my life. There’s a reason God gave her to me – so I could grow up and not be a selfish asshole too. Full stop.
I was (and probably still am at times) a rigid bitch. I didn’t give a fuck about a person except myself and husband until I had her. Straight up. Motherhood changed me. Then… Fucking plot-twist, my child isn’t just a “normal” child, she’s special needs…and because I love that blue-eyed beauty more than myself… I have never been the same again. Being her mother changed me in ways that only knowing someone like my daughter could.
Warrior Mom is what people call me. I fight for my daughter and because I am strong enough to take up other battles I fight for other special needs families too. But I can’t fight this. There’s nothing to fight, I can’t force people to want to befriend my daughter.
Even I had friends walk out of my life too because I have a special needs child. It’s true. I guess being a friend to a special needs mom is hard too – I get it, you don’t know what to say to me when my kid is in the hospital or if she has a seizure and I can’t make it to GNO…
Side note for the people reading this who have friends with special needs or chronically ill children, you don’t have to say anything, no special needs parent is expecting you to solve their problems if your friend’s kid is in the hospital just say “I am sorry – how can I help you? Do you need a ear to listen to, should I send you many, many memes to help you smile?” You don’t have to track down the leading doctor in Epilepsy or scour PubMed for us – just be there and it’s okay to ask questions- many special needs parents want you to ask questions over fucking vanishing from our lives. And, if you can’t deal with it all, that’s fine too but be a grown up and tell us, don’t leave us wondering why or thinking that we have done something wrong.
Man. This post was supposed to go a lot differently in my head but I guess I have some feelings of abandonment from the friends that stopped responding to my texts when my daughter’s epilepsy was out of control in 2019… I digress.
So. Ya. Birthdays suck in particular because I can feel my daughter’s loneliness and desperate need for a friend.
Because I feel like a failure of a parent.