This blog is dedicated to all the mothers out there, especially the ones of children with special needs (SN).
I wouldn’t be true to myself, nor to this blog (which happens to have the word “True” in it if I didn’t write even once about my 20 years old son who was born with Cerebral Palsy or CP. When I decided to join this blog, I vowed to myself that I will not talk about Karim or as I like to call him when he lets me, “my sunshine”, and that if I ever did, it would be out of joy, happiness and pride… of course I will not lie and say that caring for a child with SN is a walk in the park everyday.
My two great boys, especially Karim made me who I am today, so it’s only fair to the readers to know who is behind the woman who writes about “wellbeing”, and who is behind the person who shaped my views on life, balance (or lack of at times), happiness, anger, joy, gratitude, faith, fairness (or lack of at times), and my perspectives of it all.
I will not dwell on the past or even on the circumstances or reasons behind Karim’s disability out of respect for both his privacy and mine. After 20 years, I can look back at all the hardships, the frustrations (still present today), the guilt of giving birth to Karim, the acceptance of his condition, and many more endless ups and downs, but only to give him the name that he deserves: “my gift”. And my younger son has to also be mentioned as the other great part who got me where I am today. Nadim “the tornado” gave me “normality” and balance.
I live in a country which is not amongst the easiest ones in which to bring up a child with SN.
The road is a long and tough one, especially in making the societies in this part of the world (without mentioning the lack of infrastructure aimed for SN people) accept and/or integrate children with SN. But I have to admit that Beirut has come a long way in that aspect, although a lot of improvements still need to happen. Awareness regarding “differences” has improved, but again a lot still needs to be done, and in many aspects (infrastructures, laws etc) to make this population of SN fully integrated, and accepted.
The aim of this post is a simple one, and actually a kind of an evidence to me, as well as extremely cathartic to pencil down: to show how grateful I am for the amount of joy that Karim brought and still brings to my life. When am at my worst, most of the time he’s the only one (when junior isn’t around) that will bring a smile to my face and cheer me up. I might be stating the obvious “all kids bring joy to their moms”. But from day one I never called Karim “a problem child”. Karim had, has and will always have issues but he will always be called “a gift”.
To the moms of children with SN who are reading this post, and who happen to be in the early stages of their journey, you will realize that these children are here to test you in every possible way yes, but they are the ones who will make you stand on your feet when you need to be strong, the ones who will give your life purpose, happiness and pride, and the ones who will teach you resilience.
And in my personal opinion, they will bring a special aspect of “wellbeing” into your life. A different kind of wellbeing, but the one that is among other things real, comforting, and true.
One small tip for those special moms: be as dedicated to your child as you can be, but make sure to also love and take care of yourself.
One step at a time…