CLOSED for the holidays. That’s how I felt in December 2006. A Christmas I remember so vividly because I was in the NICU staring at my 24-weeker son in the incubator and feeling how wrong it was that he was there, that we were there, that every family around us was there.
That’s how many of us as preemie and special needs parents feel or have felt when this time of year rolls around. Our hearts feel closed to the myriad of sights, sounds, festivities and joys of the holidays. We don’t want to feel this way but sometimes it’s difficult not to as many of us are still in the NICU, some of us are battling RSV, others are home with tons of medical equipment surrounding us, many of us are grieving our angel babies, some of us are preparing for an upcoming medical procedure, quite a few of us are dealing with the seen and unseen challenges of participating in the holiday festivities with a child with special needs and most of us are contemplating – dare I say fretting – about how we are going to pay the rising medical expenses for our child’s care and ongoing therapies, treatments, etc.
It can be very overwhelming most days and in a way, staying closed protects us from being further disappointed or hurt. Equally though, it can also keep us from experiencing the unforseen gifts of the season and joys of the life we’re living.
Bouncing off of well-known quotes, I want to share three (3) quick ways you, as a preemie/special needs parent, can use them to not just survive the holidays but to embrace them with a sense of control, purpose, excitement and enjoyment.
1) Every moment is a fresh beginning – T.S.Eliot – Observe and take note of what’s good or beneficial to you in each moment – even the confusing and sad ones.
2) Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it – Lou Holtz – Decide how you want to respond to being a preemie or special needs parent. What cap will you put on – one of empowerment or defeat?
3) Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving – Albert Einstein – Know that things will definitely get wobbly at times – and that’s perfectly ok. The point is to keep pedaling.
Happy Holidays to you and yours and be on the lookout for some goodies I’ll be sharing with you in the New Year. So excited!
Until then, feel free to let me know how I can help you stay open and move forward during this holiday season and beyond!