What do you give up to be a parent? That’s been running about in my mind a lot this week. I would gladly give it all up for them, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to give up. It doesn’t mean that sacrifices haven’t been made. Sometimes it’s hard to not look at what has been given up, and other times it’s more like seeing what isn’t, and realizing that you wouldn’t have it any other way.
I never expected to be a CHD advocate, I never anticipated weekly, bi-weekly appointments, numerous doctors and endless rounds of therapies, medication schedules etc. I had big dreams and big plans. Do I sometimes wish that I was working as a full time photographer? Yes. I won’t lie to you. There are days when I lay down at night and I am so exhausted by the endless stress of all the doctors and therapists and phone calls to advocate for the kids that all I can think about it how lovely it would be to only have to worry about a photo shoot. How therapeutic it would be to just edit photos today… self pity? No, I think it’s just normal. It’s normal to sometimes look at the neighbours yard and wish you could get your grass as green as theirs.
Those moments don’t last though, I am the only person in the whole world who knows absolutely everything there is to know about Joshua’s therapy schedules, what happens in those therapies, what the next step is, and what progress is being made. I am the one who gets sit in those sessions and see the smile of pride on his face when he achieves something new, or to see the surprise on the therapist face when he uses a word we had no idea he knew. I am the only who gets to hold their hands when they are at the doctor and they are scared, I am the one who gets the post-doctor snuggles. When they go to bed at night, safe and snug in their beds I can close my eyes and know that there is NO WHERE else I would rather be, there is no photo shoot that will ever give me the satisfaction of a job well done that a smile or hug from one of these two boys can give me, no other job that would ever compare to the one I have. I didn’t choose to have kids with medical issues, but I chose to have kids and sometimes being a parent means rolling with the punches. Sometimes it means giving up what you thought you wanted for something that you couldn’t live without.
So, for the moments when I am weak, the times I am just tired from the endlessness of therapy… I write this post to remind myself, that this is where I am meant to be, this is what I am being called to do at the moment. Fighting for CHD awareness, working with therapists, writing, raising my kids and yes, when all that is said and done… working shoots and being blessed enough work at something I can find passion in, something that soothes my weary soul.