I know I write many stories about Elizabeth.
I think raising her and growing in knowledge about her has become sort of my part-time, if not my full-time job.
I write about her life with the hopes that our stories will help others. Sometimes to offer suggestions for others to follow and sometimes with the hopes that they will do the opposite.
Our journey has had its zenith moments as well as lows that are pretty darn down there.
But something that I have learned on this journey - which is now going to be 21 years...
Is to forgive yourself. I have learned how important this is.
It sounds simple.
But it is not.
By forgiving yourself, I mean...
For the things you wish you did. Getting an earlier diagnosis. Maybe more therapies.
For the things you wish you had not done. Did you try a school that did not work out?
For the things you wish you had done sooner. “If only I had found this therapist sooner!”
For the things you wish you had not tried at all. "She really hated that painting class.”
If you were not as patient as you wished you could have been.
For when you took the easy way out of a social encounter, just because you could not handle it that day.
For when you were angry that the dish fell and broke… again, or when you have to say something ten times instead of once.
For when you look at the day ahead and know you feel tired already.
For when you look at other typical children simply playing and feel a bit angry because you know how hard life is for your child.
Because you are only human. You want the best for your child.
Because you are facing things so many, many other cannot possibly understand. And you do it daily.
Because one day will probably never be the same as the next. And you adapt each day.
Because each day requires so much strength and determination. And you know you would do anything for your child.
Forgiving yourself lets you focus on the journey you are on with your child. Instead of what did or did not happen.
I hugged my Elizabeth as she woke up today. I love her so very much.
Forgiving ourselves makes things just so much easier.
Hope this helped someone today.
I wish everyone a good month.
Michele Gianetti is a mom of three, registered nurse, and published author ("I Believe in You," "Emily's Sister"). She writes for TalkTools Blog every month about her experience caring for Elizabeth, her daughter with Sensory Processing Disorder and Dyspraxia. Follow her story since the beginning here.