There’s a well told story in our family about the time my mum hit me around the head with a loaf of bread. Not the type of thing you’d expect to read, especially following this title! There’s another story where she poured a cup of water over me in bed. But before you call Social Services, let me add some context.
For any mums reading this, you’ll nod your head in agreement that us children sometimes test your patience. And those mums with disabled children will also know how much harder it is having a child with a disability. Here’s a great poem written originally by a mother of an autistic child, but it’s apt for all parents of disabled children.
Can you imagine when my parents found out I had Spinal Muscular Atrophy? Especially after hearing the bollocks that the doctors (and the media) say about the condition. Forget about me never playing football, I’d apparently be lucky to do anything. My parents must have been distraught!
My grandad apparently said to my mum that “only people who can shoulder such situations are presented with them”. I really miss him, that lovely man who ran away from war torn Lithuania so young. But that is a story for another day… I believe these words gave her a strength to carry on.
Most parents tend to wrap their offspring in cotton wool. I think there’s a tendency to double wrap us ‘special ones’. It makes sense too. I sometimes see too much wrapping, and it can cause negative consequences down the road.
We all have to get out there, take risks, fail, hurt others, be hurt, and generally find ourselves.
When I moved to secondary school I left my friends behind at the local inaccessible one. I was collected by the bus transporting other kids on wheels, and had to travel further away. I hated it to begin with. I would have done anything not to go. Sometimes mum gave in, but mostly she got me on that bus (despite how much I’m sure she felt my pain).
Around this time I had those dreaded teen years, along with my sister and step brothers. We were little shits at times (now I’d have slapped me). The listening to gangster hip hop didn’t help, but we were just testing boundaries. As teens do.
Also I started to get that victim complex about being disabled. As a result I was demanding more assistance, and vocalising my anger. Rather like a wounded animal. As you may have guessed, the loaf of bread and water anecdotes slot in around here.
Against popular family myth, the bread wasn’t frozen, and we actually laughed about it at the time. I was just being a bit cheeky and mum was really making a point about my back chatting – in a yeast related humorous way (*no disabled people were injured during this moment).
The water incident was a result of me pushing my luck too far, and the humour was probably absent then. You see, I have never been able to turn myself at night. Mum and dad turned me until I went to university aged 19. Both of them had many sleepless nights for nearly twenty years! On this particular night it was hot, I couldn’t sleep, and kept calling to be turned. The response of a lovely (but tired) lady was to cool me down with some water over my head.
We definitely laugh about this now too. Her laugh and sense of humour are one of her many amazing qualities. Others include being caring, empathetic, selfless, fun-loving, positive, and always there for people.
So why tell you these ‘unusual’ Mothers Day related anecdotes?
I’m blessed to have her as my mum. I’m fortunate to have been passed on some of her great attributes too. But these types of stories gave me much more! These moments ensured that I never gave up, I never stopped progressing, I never spoke out of turn, and never ever let my circumstances beat me.
Shoulder the situation we’re given, because we can cope…
Thank you mum for everything you did and that you do. You really are the best mum in the world 🙂
Happy Mothers Day!