Working with young families has been such a privilege for me. Watching each family grow and develop is always exciting and unique. Each new child brings a new perspective to this world. The world is a big place. Each new child is small and their world is small at first. Mom and dad and maybe siblings make up their world. It is a new beginning. They quickly learn and adapt to this small world. The world gets vastly bigger and bigger as they grow. Each minute, each day and each year builds into new experiences that help that child grow and evolve. Each child starts out with a game plan. The nature of who they are and how they react to their environment is already there at birth. Some of it is instinctive and some of it can be influenced by early caretakers. They need a strong bond of feeling secure, feeling loved.
For parents, the world gets smaller when a new child is born. They start looking inward, rather than outward. Trying with all their might to create that safe and loving environment for a new child. It isn’t easy. It is a new beginning.
My family is always working to maintain that safe and loving environment, while trying to find the balance of growth and ability to adapt to that vastly, expansive world. I seem to control the “small” world at times, but the “big” world is completely out of my control. As a parent, I sometimes feel I have no control over any of it. I only have control over my reaction to it. I can get frustrated or depressed when I can’t get my crying infant to sleep or I can recognize this is temporary and normal. I can’t always recognize what is temporary and normal. I need to know or be reminded what is “normal”. I need support. I need encouragement. All parents do.
New beginnings are for starting again. My family just moved to the NW Michigan. I grew up just outside of the Detroit city limits. I am a country girl who happened to be born and raised in the city. We are trying to live a rural life. I hope I can adapt to this new beginning. In attempted to acquire a dream of my husband and I, I have taken my 2nd grade boy with Down Syndrome out of a safe and loving environment. He has been taken away from his small life into a vastly bigger one, or at least a different one. He is struggling in school. He was loved and understood in the only school environment he knew. He is now unknown and misunderstood. I know that he will grow and evolve, but as a parent I have to get him the supports he needs. As a parent I need support and encouragement, too. I am seeking it out. I am fortunate to have laws in place to support him, and dedicated professionals to assist. Parenting isn’t easy. It is a NEW BEGINNING. A new beginning of learning, growing, reaching out and in the end feeling a kind of love that never existed before.