I was talking with a friend yesterday about life and how it doesn't seem to go the way we think it's going to. Most of us go through college and graduate with idealistic expectations. We can see our future...and it looks good. We honestly think we have it all figured out - that we can actually control our lives. If only it were that simple.
So then, we get pitched a curve ball by life. We swing and we miss. Now what? If you're anything like me, this makes you mad. This isn't the way things were supposed to go! I had a plan! I was supposed to be the stay-at-home Super Mom; taking the kids to the park and the pool; running around the backyard playing tag; & taking the kids for long bike rides. I wasn't supposed to be the Mom who can't keep up with her children. Having an artificial leg was not part of the plan. I was supposed to have these amazingly typical children that I would sit and do arts and crafts with and help practice T-Ball. I was not supposed to have children that scream and cry because they are frustrated that they can't talk. Autism was not a part of the plan either.
So the plan was shot to hell...now what? This is the point in life when we actually do regain control. We control how these curve balls are going to change us. First of all, let's all realize that NO ONE'S life goes exactly according to their plan. NO ONE is exempt from the curve balls of life. We are not alone in our struggles even if, at times, it feels like we are. We are all just trying to carve out the best life for ourselves that we can with what we've been given.
So the plan changes. Now the plan is to be the best Mom that I am capable of being. To make sure my children get the help they need to reach their individual potentials. To let these curve balls make me a better, stronger person than the person I was before. The new plan really isn't that bad - just different.
So yesterday was a huge victory for us. We had friends over for dinner. For most people this would be no big deal, but for us it was huge. How are the kids going to behave? Are we going to have meltdowns? Will we even be able to sit down and eat a normal meal with this couple or will it be a 3-ring circus all evening? We knew the risks but we gave it a shot and it paid off. The kids were fabulous - playing independently yet acknowledging that we had visitors. Bill and I were able to sit and eat while the kids played. The kids got peacefully tired and went right to sleep without a fight, allowing us to continue visiting until after 10 o'clock. When our guests left I looked at Bill and said: "that was perfect." I was so proud of the children. It was so nice to just sit and talk with other "grown-ups" for a change. In that instant I felt like we had a normal life, things actually resembled the original picture that I had in my head all those years ago. Maybe the plan had changed but maybe the outcome would be the same.
I know that today or tomorrow could throw me another curve ball. I could have another set-back with the children's progress or another in-your-face example of the limitations that my leg places on me, but I feel optimistic. I know that on those hard days I can stop and pull out the pictures in my mind from last night's victory when life seemed so normal. So the next time that I strike out, I will know to step right back into the batter's box.