Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not remarkable

My mother-in-law is in town for a week. This morning she came along while I brought F1-2 to school after his therapy session, so she could drop me of at work and use the car all day. She told me that she had seen some celebrity on tv who has a child with special needs (she told me the name, but I don't typically keep up with celebrity news, so it didn't mean anything to me). She told me how remarkable she thought this woman was for doing so much for her son. All the therapists she has, and all the wonderful things she and her son have accomplished as a result of that. Apparently many members of the audience commented on how much hope they derived from this woman's experience and how great it was bla bla bla.... My mother-in-law was ready to go on and on about this, when I interrupted her.

This does most certainly NOT fill me with hope. This very famous woman makes more money in a week than my dear hubby and I will make in our life. I look at my dear little F1-2 and see a sparkle in his eyes that tells me there is so much more in him than we give him credit for. But it requires a lot of time that we simply don't have, and probably will never have, because we have to work our butts off to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. We will never be able to afford great therapists to work with him every waking moment to get every little ability out of him. And therefore, so much of what he is capable of will never come out. It is utterly depressing.

So many children out there with special needs do not have rich celebrity parents, and they are screwed. They will never reach their full potential. It does not fill me with hope that this woman could do it, although I'm glad for her son he does so well. I'm engulfed by sadness for all the thousands of children like my son who get left behind.

I think I may have have shocked my MIL. Obviously, she hadn't thought of it like that. But I do, and I feel guilty about not being able to spend more time with F1-2 to work with him, about not being able to afford more therapy for him, about the potential in him we will never witness. I'm so sorry my sweetheart.


Kate said...

You should spend a little time every single day appreciating the great decisions you make and the love you have for your child. I suspect you're a pretty darn great parent.

knobody said...

mil all gone now? things looking up? girl's night in this fri or sat! you need to join us! plz?

makita said...

If all goes well, I might make it on Saturday. I'll let you know.

Flicka Mawa said...

Hi! I got here from Sciencewoman, where you'd commented. Although I'm sure I don't experience this with the pain that you do, I understand what you're talking about in this post. I see the effects of class privilege everywhere, and it drives me nuts.

I myself am a grad student and a wife, and my husband and I will probably have our first child before I graduate. So I look forward to reading lots more about what it's like for you to be a grad student and a parent.