Happy post Valentine’s Day to everyone!! I hope everyone had a wonderful day.
Valentine’s always reminds me of my Mom. As a kid, she would always plan the best surprises for me.
As I look into the eve of my 40th year (June–except I’ll start the festivities in April because, yeah, its like that), I think about my Mom and how she’s not here to see me turn 40 (and start partying in April).
My Mom–as evidenced by this blog–was pretty damn awesome. She also knew a lot of heartache. By the time, I came about in 1974, my Mom had had lost two babies at six months. I also showed up at six months–weighing nothing more than a couple of soup cans–and not breathing.
For three months, I lived in an incubator (which I firmly believe has influenced my desire to burrow under bed covers).
My development was slow. By age two, the diagnosis was confirmed. I had cerebral palsy. For those of you who don’t know, CP affects the cerebellum which affects muscle control. In cases like mine, it has to do with lack of oxygen to the brain during fetal development/birth.
For me, I am lucky CP has only affected the left side of my body, which means my left side is weaker than my right side. Given the year of my birth and my weight, I am very, very lucky.
CP, though, shadowed many of my early years. It was always there. I spent hours in physical therapy as a kid. I spent time in developmental kindergarten. For a brief time, in second grade, I rode the short bus to school. (All jokes asides, I loved the short bus…I was that much closer to the doors, and there were Milk Duds.)
In elementary school, some kids were mean.
But what (still) gets me more than anything is the child psychologist (and I remember him and I think I have his name) who told my parents I would never amount to anything but a vegetable.
I hold two degrees and have taught college.
Oh, but vanity. Vanity. It’s such a curse. Really. Except for Botox, which could be a necessity given the moment.
I am 39. I’m pretty cute and have a cute figure. I’ll do. I’m okay with myself.
And yet, I owe this to my parents. I did dance classes, modeling, classes, theatre, girl scouts, piano, martial arts, skiing. Oh–and living in another country (which probably gave my mother heart failure for a while). Nothing held me back. Nothing. And that is because of my parents. It’s that spirit that keeps me going.
Growing up, I used to wish my CP away. And although, there are things I wish were different, I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t be me otherwise. Don’t change who you are.