Got A Meghan In Your Life? #hallmarkMY VIEWS, PARENTING | Nirasha Jaganath | February 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Happy Valentine’s Day! It is a day of love and we normally think of the day dedicated to your partner. When you have kids you end up thinking of making their Valentine’s Day special. If there was ever a chance you could forget then the gazillion cards (ok 42) cards that you need to make is a reminder that it is all about the kids. If you think I am going to dedicate this post to my kids or my darling husband this Valentine, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. These days seeing my older daughter progress brings daily tears of joy to us. As we talk constantly of the journey and how bright the future is looking, we can’t stop thinking of one person in our life that was a huge part of it.
Almost 7 years ago, when I was thrown into the Stay At Home Mom sea (by total choice), I was swimming (ok, more like drowning) under all the demands of a new baby and lack of social interaction. Thankfully hubby had tried out a Gymboree class and I decided t just go with it. Baby was around 5 or 6 months so this was totally an excuse to get me out of the house and stop calling the office with a “what time are you coming home?” demand. By chance I managed to drop my uptight guard of thinking my kid is going to topple everything to meet a beautiful mom who I later learned would become a huge part of my life. In spite of having to constantly clean up with her sweet son’s reflux at the time, this lady managed to take the time to make thoughtful and supportive conversation. In my eyes she exuded confidence, which I admittedly yearned.
Fast forward a few months peppered with play dates and museum visits, I liked Meghan more and more. On my daughter’s 1st birthday I received 2 cards from her. One was for my kid and one said “Happy Birth day”. I wondered if it was just a lazy typo but as I read the card with tears streaming down my cheeks I realized she was talking about me. Describing in detail the journey from birth to now and emphasizing the significance of this being the date I gave birth to my baby on, this card still sits in my underwear drawer (in my disorganized life it is where I keep my most precious items) and I pull it out each year to read on my daughter’s birthday as it keeps the tears rolling and memories fresh.
When Meghan celebrated her birthday her amazing dashing hubby threw her a girl party with Johnny Depp for her girlfriends,. To be clear it was more like a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie where she had everything themed. It was the first time I had left Jia alone for an outing and even the dashing good looks of Johnny Depp (although I swear that movie makes me want to bathe and shave him) could not distract me from missing her though I wanted to be with Meghan too. I sat for 1/2 the movie and she looked at me and said it was ok to go, can you see why I love this woman?
When I became pregnant with my 2nd girl I was paranoid like crazy as to how I would do this without leaving Jia (who was 22 months at delivery time). I flirted with ideas of bringing her to the hospital to delivering the baby sans hubby. Eventually I relented to the fact that I needed someone. Meghan was the only choice for me. While I was still trying to deal with missing my baby Meghan was already doing dry runs and asking me ridiculous questions like “does she sleep with her socks on?”. I mean who cares about that? Apparently Meghan did. While I was in labor I called home and was shocked that not only did she feed my kid (healthily), take her outside to play but also managed to get my lil bugger to sleep. No mean feat if you realize that my daughter was a tough nut to take a nap. I finally relaxed and Bela was born.
Fast forward more moments like these (I mean wonderful moments not giving birth, heaven knows my 2 are plenty to handle) and I was at a point about to quit my work after a week and a day. Meghan had been supportive the day I started (giving me a business card holder and all). But that day when I called her at my wit’s end to explain I needed to resign as something was up and I needed to be there, especially for Jia. Without skipping a beat she made me feel like a winner and not like the loser I felt everyone would judge me as being one. As I delved deeper into the world of my child maybe having a “disability” I was met with a shoulder when I needed support, reasoning when I was puzzled and humor when I needed a laugh. The fact that she was already dealing with similar helpings did not lessen her involvement, just increased it.
I trusted her immensely and explored varieties of therapies and resources, knowing that every time I did so meant new changes for my kid. I gained confidence to say the words “Autism” or “special needs” without having to apologize for it. That was a huge leap. I wrapped myself with positive people who would support me in my journey with her always remaining in my sight. The past year we have celebrated milestone after milestone and I still remember bawling uncontrollably with my husband at her Kindergarten concert as they sang “”How could anyone ever tell you you were anything less than beautiful? How could anyone ever tell you you were less than whole?” That song has a beautiful meaning for any parent (or person) but brings a special meaning to a parent of a special needs child.
Following Meghan’s guide we exposed my daughter to amazing therapy methods ignoring the cost or the fact that it was wearing us down. As her 1st Grade teacher kept praising her efforts in class the cynic in me kept telling her “but is this compared to regular kids or is this taking into account her disability and the fact that you are an amazing teacher?” Last week the teacher was beside herself with praise for her progress and called me one night to tell me. She then added that she knows I always ask about the perspective of the praise and on her own told me that this was the closest thing to “regular” that she could say.
As I celebrate my family moving to sunnier skies, I want to dedicate this Valentine post to an amazing friend who will remain forever special in my heart. I pray that this Valentine you have a special “Meghan” in your life!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, and part of me being a “Hallmark, Life is a special occasion ambassador”. Personally loving the opportunity to share a window to my life.