An article was published last weekend in the New York Times about Williams Syndrome that gets right down to the nitty gritty : http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/08/magazine/08sociability-t.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5070&en=46b9c21e41b03e6e&ex=1184472000&emc=eta1
Accompanying the article online is a video of a 19-year-old girl with Williams. It fascinated me to hear her talk; to discuss her daily routine, her joys and dreams. Just as I watched the six-year-old boy with Williams in Louisville, I was mesmerized with these people whom I have an instant connection to, knowing my son may one day be like them.
Something even more interesting to me was seeing this girl's family in the video, particularly her mother. I wondered what kind of mother she was. Did she think she was the "right" kind of mother for her daughter? Did she think that she would one day have a child with special needs? There are women out there like that - I have heard people say they always "knew" they would have a special needs child. They knew they would have this "calling".
I did not have that calling. It never occurred to me I would have a child with special needs. It seemed to fall in line with the "other" parents... you know, "other" parents had sick children, "other" parents had mentally ill children, "other" parents had miscarriages, couldn't get pregnant or got divorced. As I got older, I began to notice that I knew some of these "other" parents... I know people who have sick children, who have children who have died, who have had miscarriages, couldn't get pregnant or got divorced.
I always felt I was untouchable, nothing bad could happen. Even when I took all the precautionary, telling tests you take when you're pregnant because I was told to; it never occurred to me they would come out positive. I was never worried when it came time to deliver my sons - I just thought it would be okay. I still think like that, most of the time. I think I like having that kind of attitude, it makes more things possible. However, it does throw you off a bit when you end up with something not in your "plan". And as I get older, yes, and wiser, I realize there is no "plan". You need to kind of make it up as you go along.
Am I the "right" kind of mother for Brady? Yes, because he is my child. But beyond that, I am filling in the blanks as we go along. I read about the mothers of WS kids online and I see they are not so the "other" mother as I once thought they would be. We are all so very ordinary. Does it scare the non-WS moms? It could happen to her, it could happen to me. Are we "chosen" moms?