Monday, February 8, 2010
Sometimes I Do, Sometimes I Don't
Do people sometimes criticize you for doing too much for your child with a disability? Do they say, “Let them do that? How else will they learn?”
I have, in fact, said similar things to other parents of children with disabilities. I even wrote a blog post titled Don’t Love Me Too Much on this subject.
I believe we need to let our children try and sometimes even fail so that they can learn. But often when I am ‘doing’ for my child, it’s more for me than her.
Yes, my daughter is capable of dressing and undressing herself. Yes, she is capable of washing her hair and completing her bath alone. Yes, she can get up and get something if she wants it. And yes, she needs to be pushed sometimes to learn how to do things for herself. But often the times I spend ‘doing’ for her are some of the sweetest times we share.
I love helping her dry off after her shower. I love helping her get dressed in her warm pajamas, and I love the feel of her skin against mine when I am putting lotion on her arms and legs. I love the softness of her hair as I blow it dry, and I love tucking her into bed just as much now that she is 14 years old as I did when she was 2 years old.
I realized a long time ago that I am a ‘helper’. I take great pleasure in helping people – my children, my neighbors, and my friends. It’s just how I’m wired to live. And with maturity has come the knowledge that sometimes it is good to step back and not ‘do’ for others, and sometimes it’s perfectly fine to ‘do’.
The moments of my life with my children are fleeting. I refuse to waste a single one of them just because someone else doesn’t agree with my approach to helping my child grow. Growth is not measured only in the number of skills one has, but also in how much they love and connect with others.