After a long and somewhat stressful day I'm finally sitting down on my comfy couch, enjoying some wonderful ginger peach tea, all thanks to my husband. After a bit of rough ending to our very busy weekend this past weekend, I was feeling a bit on edge. Yesterday I came home after work and was able to catch up on a few things before heading over to Tom's parents' house for dinner. But then on my drive to work this morning I realized how many other things I had to do and ended up worrying about a few other issues we are dealing with and had a busy morning, followed by busy afternoon. During my break this morning Tom took care of a few things on my list and then offered to come straight home after work so he could be here for Tera's therapy session at 4:00 so I could work on some things at home which is the only reason I'm able to sit here calmly and relate all this. And then to add to his wonderfulness, he made me tea while I put Tera to bed.
The reason I share this is not only to share what a great husband I have, but to take a moment to remind myself once again how lucky I am. I've read many, many stories of couples in the DS community whose marriage didn't make it, for various reasons, and on nights like this I'm reminded how we make it work. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming DS for the ending of relationships because I know all too well, and better than most, that break ups occur for many reasons. But dealing with the stresses that go along with having a child, in particular a child with special needs, can wear down many a couple. When Tera was born we didn't waver for a minute in our devotion to her and to each other. Where I think a traumatic event like that can put stress on a relationship, in our case it made us stronger. We bonded over our new situation and our new little family and while have had our angry moments with each other since she has been born, I can pretty safely say that few if any of them have revolved around Tera or DS in general.
Since I've been back to work this year and since Tera's therapy schedule is so much more intense than it was at this time last year, we've really had to reevaluate what our priorities and time commitments are (and by "we" I mean mostly "me"). Tom has been very supportive of my trying to fit workouts in when I can, helping out as much he can, and in general trying to help me manage our household. He is an incredibly involved dad who knows every part of Tera's daily routine, is always on top of what we're focusing on in her various therapies, and makes sure to take time out to be silly with his daughter. I truly believe it's our strength as a couple that has helped us through so much of this past year and a half.
And then to talk about the complete opposite of parent involvement, I found out some troubling information about one of my students today that made me want to just run home and hold Tera and never let her go. It's information like what I found out today that makes me question humanity, and then myself as well. I hear things and it makes me wonder how any of our students that have backgrounds like this can even want to be successful, much less actually do it. It's times like this when I can't even put into words how grateful I am to my parents for just taking care of me and loving me, because that's more than so many of our students have.
I decided my theme for this year in class was going to be personal responsibility because so many students don't have any, and that's not just at my school, it's everywhere. I'm not a proponent of using one's background as an excuse not to succeed, but at some point you have to wonder how some individuals can claw their way through their shitty situation and come out on top when so many things are pushing them down. I don't give my students reasons to fail or even excuses to fail, but I do have to keep in mind that not all of them go home to two loving parents that are gainfully employed and a hot meal every night. Some of our students just flat out don't even go home. The thought of any parent neglecting their child breaks my heart and unfortunately both at school and in the DS community, I hear too much about it.
This seems like a tangent that I've gone on now and I suppose it somewhat is, but point is that I can handle my life because of my support system, and not everyone can say that they have one. I didn't get here on my own and I sure as hell won't make it on my own and Tom and I, along with our family and friends, will make sure Tera never has to be alone either.