Pride is something we may have heard mentioned time and time again. But not until a couple years ago did I realize what it truly was.
I wanted to make no mistakes. I wanted my children to make no mistakes. I wanted to have a very clean house and keep up with everything. I worked very hard at it.
But one day, realizing that the fact that I believed that I could make no mistakes, was in itself pride. I believed that I could be perfect. I believed that was what was demanded of me. By God, by fellow humans and well, just the whole of society.
Then it went on to my children. When my children had struggles in school, I blamed myself. I believed that it was me that caused their issues, or them. One of us was not working hard enough. I tended to blame myself more than them, but continued to look for a solution.
When my first son was diagnosed with learning disability, it felt like a relief, but I felt guilty that I was relieved. I felt like I had failed somehow. I had failed perhaps in my pregnancy, and that was why. Maybe I had done something wrong in their infant hood and they bonked their heads one too many times. But in the end, it was admitting that there was a lack of perfection in us. It came down to pride. It was hard to admit that there was an issue.
I have seen parents that get prickly when you call it a disability. “Why can’t we call it, “a unique learning style”? they ask. Or they steadfastly persist, “There is nothing wrong with him/her. He/she is just a little unique, but they are work harder and be normal.”
I sometimes wonder if we are only this way with less obvious disabilities. If someone was born without a leg, would we force them to crawl on the floor because they should not depend on a crutch? Would we say that they should not have all the opportunities to help them to walk, because we are pretending they do not have a missing limb?
When someone has a special need, a disability, we need to teach our children to embrace it. Forgo pride in perfection. Perfection is overrated anyhow! When we embrace our imperfections that is when pearls are formed. We can thrive and do more than when we are trying to be “normal”.
Let’s not ignore our children’s needs for our own pride. If we can embrace our imperfections, stop blaming ourselves for something that had nothing to do with us, we can thrive and be joyful.
Our joy can come from loving how we are, our mistakes and laugh or cry through them.