Dear Isabella- You’re Almost 5.
As your 5th birthday fast approaches, I find myself sitting here thinking about the last almost 5 years. I did not actually think we would get this far and some days, I have run out of fight.
From eye specialists to ear specialists to paediatricians and psychologists, it’s been one hell of a ride hasn’t it? It hasn’t been a normal one but I think we knew it wasn’t going to be from the moment you entered this world.
There have been some hellish, dark days for all of us during this first 5 years but there have also been some unforgettably amazing ones.
I never knew what Gifted really meant until you entered our lives. 5 years ago if someone had told me that this was the path we would be taking, I would have laughed hysterically.
I never thought we would have to face any of this stuff. OCD, Anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorder, Giftedness, IQ/EQ Imbalance, ADHD and Aspergers traits. Any of it. They’re labels that have been attached to your little almost 5 year old self but I will never let them get in the way of anything.
There hasn’t been a day that has gone by over the last almost 5 years I haven’t sat here and cried. I cry out of frustration because I don’t know what to do or how to help you. I cry out of pride because you amaze me every single day and I cry out of mental and emotional exhaustion because you have taken me to places mentally and emotionally that I didn’t know existed. I am actually surprised that I haven’t been sectioned.
You’ve tested every limit imaginable but I have to thank you for that because if you hadn’t, I wouldn’t know how strong both your dad or I could be in the hardest and darkest of times. There has been a fuck load of those over the last 5 years.
I know you don’t notice but when you’re busy doing your experiments, homeschool, reading, whatever it is you are doing at the time, I just sit there and look at you. I savour those moments “when everything is ok” because I know that for those brief few minutes, you’re ok.
There are days where I just want to get inside your head and put things back in the right place so that you can “be normal”. Not that normal really exists but I just want you to be able to get up in the morning and not have a care in the world and not have to battle with your mind throughout the day.
I want you to be able to go to school. I want you to be able to make friends easily. I want you to just be ok. I know that as you get older, you will be ok in your own way and you’ll make it all work for you and your needs.
Over the last almost 5 years, while I know I have cried a lot, I’ve yelled, I’ve slammed my hands down on the bench and I’ve said some things to you that no parent should ever say to their child no matter how much they are at their wits end, I am grateful you are mine and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.
I sometimes think that I don’t deserve you because of how frustrated I can get. I try and control it as best as I can. I want you to know that it’s not your fault. Like you, I find it hard. I just want to be able to make things right for you but it’s out of our control.
I probably haven’t made the most of the “good days” as much as I should due to how drained I am and I know there are days where I just pass out on the couch and not pay you much attention because I’m so drained in every way possible but just know that I love you.
As much as I get incredibly frustrated, especially in the middle of the night, I cherish those guard down, kisses and cuddles you give me. I cherish that sweet “I love you mama”. I cherish those crazy middle of the night conversations we have. I cherish those “Mama, I need you” moments. I cherish those “mama, thank you for those encouraging words” moments.
When you’re scared because of “the monsters’, even though I know you are absolutely petrified, I cherish those arm grabs you do and the comfort you need. I cherish the incredibly rare unsolicited kisses, cuddles and snuggles. I cherish it all.
You are the most perfectly, imperfect mix of both your dad and I. I love how much you look like him. I love that you have his sense of humour and personality. I love how you have my eyes, curly hair and passion for knowledge. I also know that there are a few not so great things from both of us that we have passed on to you and for that I am sorry.
If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t know half of the things we now know about ourselves while we’ve been on this journey with you.
Maybe I am feeling guilty for the bad start to the day we’ve had due to last nights sleepless night. Maybe I am feeling guilty for pushing you to almost breaking point in order to get you to break some rituals. Maybe I am feeling guilty because I haven’t told you enough lately that I love you and that I am proud of you for being this incredible wee human.
I am so proud of how far you have come and how much you have been through achieved in your almost 5 short years on this planet. You’ve conquered some fears and battled some major battles that not small child (or anyone) should have to battle and while I know there are still many more things ahead that you’re going to need to fight and things are going to get harder, I know that you can do it and we are going to be right here with you.
5 is a big milestone for any child.
I feel like 5 is a big milestone for us all in our wee family.