Occasionally, every now and then, there's a hard moment. Trust me: it's easy being Lilly's mom. Easy to love her, easy to care for her, easy to enjoy all the beautiful moments.
But sometimes, occasionally, a good friend will say the "R" word. Or someone close will, in "humor," make fun of someone with intellectual disabilities. Or a well-meaning parent will excessively brag about how smart their child is; how gifted they are; how ahead of the game.
These moments bring me back to square one, almost. All the efforts we make to ensure Lilly is included, appreciated, acknowledged for being her amazing self - are almost swept away by the realization that the world is somehow still running on the fast track, and we might get left behind.
We work so-damn-hard to give Lilly everything she needs in life - we teach her, we support her, we creatively think of a million ways to enhance her abilities so that she can survive and thrive in a world that is seemingly stacked against her. And she is doing so incredibly well, and we are so tremendously proud of our little girl for all her efforts.
And yet, randomly, she can be looked at and casually dismissed as not being good enough for not doing this that or the other yet. Or not saying this, or thinking that, or doing the other. Yet.
But, oh does she try so hard. And if sometimes she wants to get upset because something is too hard, how can I judge? Life is sometimes tough for a little girl who is constantly struggling to remain with the curve somehow.
And if I'm a little sensitive sometimes: let me. My girl is the most beautiful amazing person I've ever known, with such strength to keep trying in so many ways even when life is hard; and yet the world overall still just sees her deficits. The things she needs to work on, or can't do yet. Or sees her "limits" (whereas I just see potential...).
And yet, incredible gratitude. Not just for having our wonderful girl in our lives - that is a given. But that she has stretched our hearts and minds to places unimagined a few years ago.
But still. Sometimes, sometimes, it breaks my heart - just a little - that my girl might ever have to struggle, or not fit in easily. Or that she or others like her may be prejudged or mocked or laughed at - to their face or not - for no reason at all.
But don't worry. Because my worry, my fears, my occasional sadness - they are not "what is." What is, is that I have my precious little girl. That our little family will continue to appreciate the heck out of each other. That we'll spoil her - in time, energy, and especially in ways that involve giving money to the Disney corporation in some way or another. I just want to protect my girl from everything hard in life, in whatever ways I can. But I know, with her heart, and her soul, and her strength - she can deal with whatever comes her way.