Acceptance Mountain

I thought acceptance was a 2D type of thing. You either have it or you don’t. I thought I had it. I thought I completely accepted and embraced Nathan’s reality. I thought I was perfectly okay with his lack of control over his body. I thought I was okay, I thought I had already conquered the acceptance mountain.

Today I realized I had really just climbed to the first ridge of the mountain. Somehow I had blinded myself, so when I got to the top of that ridge, I could see no more. I was there. I’d done well.

Except today I see. Today I know. I have a long way up that steep steep road.

Deep down I could accept because he was so little. He was making progress. Tiny progress, but progress. In a little while he’ll be better. With enough work, enough therapy, he has to gain head control, it’s inevitable. If you go to the gym three hours a day you develop muscles. If he has 3 therapies a day and works hard, it’s inevitable, he will develop. So I “accepted”. Because I thought change was on its way. I can deal with this. I can.

Days go by, weeks, months. His cousin that is one month old already has more control over his body than him. His friends are talking, walking, running. I didn’t want all that. I’ve accepted that he doesn’t have to be like everyone else. I’ve accepted that he can be different. But deep deep down I hadn’t given up hope. Deep deep down I thought that he could make more miracles happen. He’d already made so many. He’s alive, he can breathe, he can eat, he hasn’t been to the hospital in one year. If those miracles could happen, why not the tiny miracle of head control? Or the small miracle of rolling, or sitting up?

And in a puddle of tears I realize, maybe it’s time to just accept. Maybe it’s time to realize that this may not be his path in this lifetime. Maybe it’s time to stop fighting and get a wheelchair.

It feels like such punishment, such a terrible sentence, to get him a wheelchair. I’m his mother, and I have to get him a wheelchair. Not just a wheelchair. But one of those contraptions with head support, trunk support, adductor separator, the whole 9 yards. How can I be his mother, and accept that?

It feels too painful to accept. Like I’m giving up hope. Like I’m giving up on him. But today I realize, maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe it’s too painful NOT to accept.

Would I give up hope if I accept? Would my acceptance condemn him permanently to a wheelchair?

Maybe we need full acceptance to give room to a miracle. Maybe the acceptance is the miracle, maybe with acceptance we stop fighting, we relax into truth and love. Maybe things don’t change. Maybe, with acceptance, I change. And if I change, does it matter? Does any of it matter? If he’s happy, why should I suffer?

Keep climbing, the road gets steep, then it becomes a valley.

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