Sometimes when I’m around other parents, I feel like a puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the puzzle. We do have the shared experience of being parents. But, that’s where the similarities end.
I’ve lost my connection with the common parenting experience. I read things other parents sometimes write and I wonder, “Who are these people? How is it possible we live on the same planet, the same country, or even the same state?”
When I’m out running errands, I hear other mothers talk. Their concerns are nowhere close to mine. For example:
For me, vaccines didn’t feel like an option. After spending three months around very young children who were critically ill, it seemed foolish not to vaccinate.
I hate that I know about the Durable Medical Equipment part of a health insurance policy, where the closest pediatric emergency department is, and about epo injections.
I can’t help but think a newborn over five pounds is big.
I don’t want my child to learn to read before kindergarten, be fluent in Mandarin, or become a musical virtuoso. I just want my child to learn to talk. Maybe one day, she will be able to tell me she loves me back.
Toilet training is way ahead of my map. Due to circumstances, we will toilet train much later than most. For the record, I don’t think that wipe warmers are frivolous when a baby has sensory issues.
I don’t worry about organics, GMOs, or junk food. I would be thrilled to see my child chew AND swallow a bite of anything.
These are only a few of the disconnects. Premature birth has shaken my world to its core. Since Charlie’s birth, there has been only one time and place that I felt like I fit completely into a puzzle. It was at last year’s March of Dimes ShareUnion.
This year’s ShareUnion is just around the corner (in 85 days). Let it be noted, my countdown has begun.
I look forward to spending time with other parents who understand and possibly live in my world. There will be no talk of the “right” way to do things or perfection. Instead, there is understanding and encouragement.
I can’t wait to be in Phoenix in September. I would even walk if I had to.