By Bojana Nešić
I’ll say it aloud: parents of children with developmental disabilities have a truly serious job to do. I have vaguely known that for a long time, but only now has it reached my consciousness. While other parents worried about their children not climbing a conifer too high, I had to utilize my parenting skills in order to keep Nona in an acceptable state. Acceptable meant ensuring that she wasn’t too distressed, in order to be able to function normally because her regular routine had been disrupted.
If you saw me, you would noticed that I was singing quietly to her, gently pushing her on a swing, talking to her while walking in the woods… You wouldn’t have noticed any effort, any educational measure implemented in order to keep her calm, you wouldn’t have noticed my throbbing headache.
Eventually, I would lie down with Nona so that we could rest and heard voices of parents from the garden, warning their children not to climb the tree too high. This was when I told myself, ‘What I’m doing is hard. It’s really hard!’ I didn’t allow myself to feel like a victim. I didn’t blame the God for anything. I didn’t even wish that things were different. I admitted how something that was normal to others was difficult for me. How much energy is needed for something that seems easy? That knowledge didn’t make me feel better or worse. It was just a simple truth.
When something appears easy it doesn’t mean it actually is.
Parents of children with developmental issues truly have a difficult job to do.