Tuesday, November 15, 2011
You go to the hospital or maybe the adoption agency and you go up up up in the elevator. Several hours or days later you come down and they let you leave with this brand new little person and you yourself are a different person. You aren't just you anymore but Mommy. You think,"What the Hell? They're letting me leave? I don't know what I'm doing." There's no instruction manual. But you figure it out and you make good choices and bad choices. The good choices you keep. The bad choices are easily fixed. You adjust.
And then a few years later, you go to a different hospital. You go up up up in the elevator. You fill out forms asking all sorts of questions about your baby's development. Your perfect precious baby. You go into see the doctor. Your perfect precious baby is so profoundly disabled that the doctor doesn't even need to finish the test. You go down down down in the elevator. You aren't just Mommy anymore but a Special Needs Mommy. You were just brutally hazed in to the club.
And again, you think," What the Hell? They're letting me leave? I don't know what the fuck I'm doing." There's no instruction manual. Now you doubt all your choices. Any decision is agony. You worry about making bad choices because now you know the bad choice could make it so he's never independent. Or the choice between a group home or an institution when he's older. Or whether he'll speak or never speak. Or interact or rock in the corner. Or be sweet and loving or aggressive and violent. He can't tell you if he's cold, hurt, sick or if someone did something unspeakable.
And you ride the elevator every day. Some days it goes up and some days it goes down. You just hope you're getting off on the right floor.