The past few weeks have offered me an opportunity to look not only at myself, but once again at the reality of a child with a disability. Despite all the years of IEP goals and therapies and interventions, the reality of what our life will be like when she leaves public education is staring me in the eyes.
It isn’t as though I haven’t known or that I have had unrealistic expectations. Time simply goes on and now here we are looking at the very near future of days when she is no longer in school. Days where she will need supervision. Days when she will need social interaction. Days when she will just need….period.
In the dark moments of the night, I hear myself whisper how?? I work full-time. I am trying to go to college. I can’t just stop working, I say to that Reality. Reality says I better figure it out.
Reality says I need to change directions. Reality says I need to re-think my college plans. Reality says I need to imagine days when I am transporting my girl to a variety of unpaid (or paid) work experiences, providing opportunities for social interaction, helping her to continue learning independent living skills, and providing supervision. That is what Reality says.
As I finish up this semester of college I am grateful that I proved to myself my capabilities as a student and for the amazing learning. I am ready to close the page on that chapter, knowing that I may someday open it up again and add more to it, but for now I look ahead with a different lens.
Together with my friend named Reality, I look forward to the future with eyes wide open. Together, Reality and I will remain open to any possibility. Together, we will forge ahead.
Perhaps the divine timing of reality showing up has gifted me another door to open and the gentle reminder of why she chose me and why I am so lucky.