My Valentines

As a parent you expect to love your child. The intensity and absolute nature of such love wasn’t surprising in theory but I feel had to be experienced to be truly believed.  To keep loving my girl through the terror of doctors concerned looks, so many tests and then a diagnosis took a new level of fierce. Loving her with a sad heart as staring eyes judge her always brings out my mumma bear claws. I have great love and respect and pride for her gentle, funny, protective brother as he continually steps up to the sibling plate. I didn’t plan for this extra layer of challenges and love for my kids but this is our life and so we live it to the best of our ability.

The big surprise? Her love for me. It took many months for her eyes to look at me instead of through me. And years longer for her little arm to purposefully lift and draw me into a hug. Though her body can be uncooperative her love shines from her cheeky eyes. She astounds me. Her tolerance when she has to have a blood test, her forgiveness of my tired grumpiness and her understanding of other peoples attitude toward her all belie her young age. I am stunned at her complete trust in me and by her lack of blame. That is my surprise. That is love!

This was written following a request by Have Wheelchair Will Travel for stories of love. Valentines Day is traditionally about romantic love but Julie is particularly adept at seeing life from a different angle. Please enjoy her collection of tales from parents who know the love of a child with additional needs here .

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