Perfectly Bumpy

Maybe the timing was perfect, maybe not. But once you’d got your head around it, you started working on a plan. You found a great doctor who worked out of a hospital that was reasonably close to your house.

Perfect.

In your spare time you clicked on links looking for the perfect stroller, the perfect cot/crib, the perfect car seat.

You had religiously taken your vitamins and your folic acid. And when they showed you those ten perfect little fingers and toes on the ultrasound, you were sure you’d just seen perhaps the finest little baby, ever.

As long as they were healthy, it would be perfect.

And then it got complicated.

From the moment they arrived, there were surprises. Whether it was the timing, the delivery, or the details that you’d somehow missed. If you could just get some sleep, maybe it would all be perfect again. The breastfeeding wasn’t as easy as you expected. Were you doing it right? They didn’t sleep, but then they did. You weren’t sure why. Occasionally, for no reason, you checked to make sure they were still okay. Just incase. Life had just become more unpredictable, imperfect.

As time went by, bodies grew and you shrugged off the stories of nature and nurture, and lent towards plain luck. Friends shared their challenges, using words which seemed to cast nets wider than any trawler. How big is a spectrum? Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD and Aspergers were not discussed in What to Expect. Balls were thrown, juggled and eventually dropped. You fell on your face, many times. Your imperfections exposed. You stumbled through parenting 101, it wasn’t all about managing their expectations, you had to manage yours.

You were called in to see a teacher, it was nothing serious, but there you were, discussing the missed sight words and writing imperfections of a six year old. Another child appeared to have misplaced her manners, and you finally lost your patience after the latest confrontation.  You went to bed and tried not to think about why someone had gone from an A to a C, it would work itself out. You realized you hadn’t heard guitar practice in days, the library book was still lost, and you wondered if you should you be thinking about a math tutor. How much would that cost? Your mind wandered from one imperfection to the next.

The parenting path appeared to narrow at certain points, and often the obstacles were hard to see in the dark while you fumbled for the light switch. There were moments in time when the pebbles turned into rocks, and occasionally you felt yourself running Indiana Jones style from this week’s surprise boulder. You often questioned if you were leading them all in the right direction. Were you doing it right? Did everyone else think about it this much? And where is his freaking lunch box?!

But deep down, somewhere in the land of deep breathes and dream following, you knew it didn’t matter. They were strong, smart and loved. They could all scramble an egg, make a sandwich and set up for a bake sale. They would never starve. You often marveled at their imperfections, otherwise known as their personalities.

The road was meant to be bumpy, it was designed for challenge. That’s what made it so rewarding. You just needed to remind yourself it wasn’t meant to be perfect – it never really was.

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