Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Of Heroes and Beauty

If you're not the parent of a child with any type of difference that places them in the category of having what some deem "special needs" then you might actually think that those parents are doing something more than what you would do under the same circumstances.

Maybe you think you wouldn't be able to handle it.




When the truth is, really? You do what you gotta do.

And that doesn't make you a hero. Or a martyr. Or anyone that deserves pity or accolades.

That makes you a loving parent.

You get up in the morning and you do what you gotta do.

If that means making a different breakfast for each of your picky kids? You do it. (Maybe.)

If that means Speech Therapy, you do it. (If you want.)

What there's no question about, though, is that the things you do for your kid(s) are so much more like what any other parent would do than people may think.

All that leads up to my participation in the Littlest Heroes Project.

When Sonia first told me about it back in January, I was elated. I love, love, love pictures and we qualified, so why not?

Well. When the time came to meet up with our photographer, I started to get these conflicting emotions.

What happened to our family not being all special-special? What happened to Playette being more like other kids her age than different? Plus she's not dealing with any serious illnesses of which I'm aware.

I try so hard any other time to say that an extra chromosome is just that and nothing more. I beg people not to treat my daughter differently or special. Leave that to us.

So why should she get this great gift?

I mean, because it is.

It's a huge gift.

And the answer is?

I don't know.

Really, I don't.

When I'm being 100% honest, I say to myself, "Well, maybe it is harder? But how do I know? I have one kid and she has 47. If I had a kid with 46, maybe I'd spend the time I spend on therapy worrying or wishing or hoping about something else. Or maybe not."

The reality is that I'll never know. And if I spend my life comparing what I have to what never was, well, really, where is that going to get me?

I don't even know if I'm making sense.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't have all the answers.

No matter how much it seems like I know what I'm talking about one day.

Chances are, I'll change my mind.

Or maybe I won't.

I'm human.

Not a hero.

Aside from all of that, the actual photo shoot was amazing.

It was about 8 months in the making. First, I wanted to wait until Playette was two, hoping that she'd be walking by then. Then, schedules had to be coordinated. Summers are a busy time for both families and photographers. And who can forget when Miss Thang decided to stop walking. Yeah, we had to reschedule when that happened.

But then the day came. And it was great. Our photographer, Sara, was amazing. She was sweet and patient and the kind of person that you hug when you first meet her. She took some pictures in our house while the Littlest was playing and then we headed out to the beach. It was a gray Sunday morning, but Sara assured us that this was perfect weather.

After staying there for a while, we went over to the park, did a quick change in the car, and let Playette enjoy the swings, slide, and train.

You can check out some of the beautiful images here.

We highly recommend Sara and are grateful to both her and the Littlest Heroes Project for helping to make a dream of mine come true. I've been wanting to take family pictures forever and we just never could seem to get around to making it happen. We are so grateful.


Molly C said...

Those are gorgeous!!!!!! Love the ones on the swings, slide and her smile is fantastic!

Sonia said...

Those pictures are so beautiful! They actually made me tear up a little...that touching.

You're lucky, maybe I'm jealous, but I wish we could have our pics taken...I would choose Sara too!'re right, we will never have the answers no matter how many children we have. I have quickly learned that all my children have different needs and needs to be nurtured in their own way. That's what makes each one of my kids special...and Lillian, well she's special too, but not because of her 47, but because she's the baby :)

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

She is just stunning!!! and what a great photographer!!!

Lacia said...

those pictures are GORGEOUS!! I've heard of the organization and have tossed around the idea of getting our portraits done, but I don't think we're deserving of it even though we do qualify.

Michelle said...

Good for you for going for it! The pictures are wonderful and amazing and I bet you're so glad you did this and have these pics now!

I signed up months ago but haven't heard anything yet - did it take long to hear anything back? Did you get confirmation of your application?

I know how you feel about 'taking advantage' of these type of offers - I certainly don't feel like I'm a 'hero' or 'amazing' or other descriptions just cause I'm raising a daughter with special needs. I felt awkward using the special needs pass at Sea World, but you know what? If they're going to offer things like that I'll accept! Same thing with military offers too :)

Speaking of - do you know you can get in free to one of the Aneheuser-Busch theme parks as part of the Hero Salute program?