Another RAD mom and I sat around discussing taking Disney cruise full of RAD kids and parents. Seemed like everywhere we went on Facebook, Twitter, etc, parents were posting pictures of their “awesome” vacations with their kids. For us, a successful trip to the grocery store without any meltdowns, bloodshed, broken or stolen items is worthy of front page news. We imagined our kids on a Disney cruise…. the crew tied up and locked in the engine room, Mickey Mouse with his ears torn off, Goofy being beaten with Mickey’s ears, the engine room overrun by our kids…. and as we first walked on the ship, everyone was saying how cute and sweet our kids were…. Yeah, no Disney cruises here, for the sake of, well, Mickey and the crew.
Sometimes – more than sometimes, FREQUENTLY – it’s hard not to be jealous of all the things other parents get to do with their kids. Disney cruises, zip lines, helicopter rides, Disneyworld… all the fun stuff we imagined doing with our kids when we were young and dreamed of having kids. That is our loss, and it is a loss, and we do have a right to grieve that loss. Let me repeat that. It is ok to grieve the loss of what should have been, or what you wanted your family to be. It is also ok to mourn that loss for your kids, even if they don’t know what they are missing out on, you know. You know an unstructured environment, or an entire staff of unwitting strangers ready to be charmed into giving them candy while they are being robbed by our little pickpockets, is a disaster in the making, and so, we avoid it. We can mourn that loss, we can hurt for that loss….. but just like with any loss, we must go through the different stages, and move on. The process repeats itself, it’s not a one time deal, but we must always keep working to move through the process so that we can accept what we have and where we are and find enjoyment in the life we have.
I truly believe we have a higher calling. Whether we entered this path by naivete or by choice, this is the path we are on and we are chosen now. We are the chosen ones, just like our kids. Our calling is not Disney and ice cream, but rages and psych holds. Ours is not an easy life, ours is not a kid friendly life. But our impact on the life of a child will affect that life forever, even if we don’t see it. We are changing hearts. We are breaking down walls. We don’t have to see the results to know that we are accomplishing an amazing feat. There are so few in the world that can do what we do, that can survive what we have survived.
Anybody can do Mickey Mouse. But you are taming the Hulk.