When I was younger, I wanted to be an Olympic Swimmer. It never occurred to me that it was highly unlikely because I was slower than everyone in the pool every single time I was in a pool. I also had no idea the Paralympics existed, even then I think I would’ve still shot for the Olympics.
I quit swimming in my early teens, like most girls who stop showing an interest in sports, but I still watched it whenever I found it on TV.
I didn’t want to quit swimming but there only so much letdown a person can take, never mind a hormonal teenager, so I quit anyway and watched from the sidelines.
What I didn’t realize until I started swimming again is that it’s OK for to chase your dreams even when they’ve changed, to whatever degree.
It would have been awesome to make an Olympic (or Paralympic) team but it’s just as cool to be able to swim as well as I do at my age, which isn’t old overall, but up there for a competitive swimmer.
Plus, I now have actual goals, times, standards; things that are measurable, rather than a huge goal with no road map to get there (and people to help me get there, and sometimes they draw the map).
That may be the best part.
I’ve heard and read many stories about parents who feel like everything changed as soon as their child received a diagnosis. I have no personal experience with it, but I can guess what that might be like, but I want to push back on the idea that everything must change based on a diagnosis given on one day.
Life, regardless of disability or ability forces us to change.
How many of you have the dream job they envisioned when they were 5 or 6?
My guess is not many.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Life happens and you changed.
Please don’t put expectations on your child’s life before they’re born (or soon after).
Your life changes as soon as you become a parent, so I’ve been told, so it’s OK if your idea of the child you will parent changes too, because it probably will.
You are part of your child’s life, especially in the beginning. But eventually they’ll have their own thoughts and dreams for the future and you’ll probably have to negotiate how much of a say you’ll be able to have in their life, especially considering how much CP impacts their daily life.
One day does not determine whether or not dreams die or live to see another day, especially when it comes to the dreams of (or for) a disabled child. If one day does become the one determining factor then you’re probably selling yourself, and your child, short.
It’s OK to have dreams and to chase them with all you have in your control but it’s also OK to change your dreams and chase those just as intensely.