Welcome to River Valley Mom! I am so glad you have chosen to join us on our journey. From the outside looking in, we look like a stereotypical family: mom, dad, 2 kids (boy and girl), a cat, a small house, the usual. And in some ways we are the same as most of America. We work hard to pay our bills, we attend church most Sundays. We live in a small rural farming community in the valley of one of the biggest rivers in the country. Both kids are involved in after school activities, and mom is usually the taxi. and the bank. But we are not a typical family. Not at all. Not by a long shot. Three of the four of us have disabilities or special needs. Since this blog is about mothers and children, it is there I will put my focus.
Let’s start with myself. I was born with several issues with my back. Due to a spinal fusion to try to fix my back, I only grew to be about 4 feet tall. I will write a complete post in the near future describing all the details for those medical nerds out there who want to know the nitty-gritty. I am one of you medical nerds, and I love to know the details of the medical side of people with disabilities. Suffice it to say that I have chronic back and leg issues that have had an increasing effect on how I feel, how I get along in the world, and how I parent.
I have a daughter, Ali, that is now 19 years old. She was a preemie who had a major illness when she was just a few weeks old and suffered significant brain damage due to swelling. This is another one of those stories for another day. I still shudder at the thought of my tiny baby so very sick. She has the body of an adult woman, but is developmentally much younger than that. We are just beginning to navigate the murky waters of transitioning from highschool to the world after graduation. I’m sure there will be some turbulence along the way, but I am sure whatever my Ali does, she will be successful!
Finally, my son Eric, is 14. He is the smartest, most clever, and quick thinking person I know. He has ADHD, which means he is also impulsive, disorganized, and often has poor decision making skills. If you ask him afterwards, he can recognize that he made a mistake, but in the moment he struggles to see the consequences. He is transitioning from middle school to high school, which I’m sure will be a wild ride.
As you can see, in our case, just like most of the time, things are not always what they seem. Although we may appear to be a story book family, we have so much more going on behind the scenes then may first appear. I look forward to peeling back the curtains, and showing you what things are like in our household. I believe that you will see in our case, just like in the case of most families, the differences are what makes our household unique. In this case “unique” means messy, busy, challenging, exhausting, frustrating, happy, wouldn’t change it for a second.