Life is hard. Life is freakin hard. No matter how many times our parents try and warn us and prepare us for it, we all have to learn it the hard way. And let me tell you, I don't do well with "learning it the hard way". I am so much more of a "take your word for it" kind of girl. Like sushi. I will take your word for it that its good, but I don't need to try it. Life is not like sushi. You have no choice but to try, and do, and deal with life. I would rather deal with sushi.
I don't handle stress very well. I used to be able to handle it just fine. Yeah okay, that was in high school when all I had to worry about was getting things done for myself. Now there are other people involved in my life (see, there it pops up again), and of course I'm going to stress over things a lot more. And with that comes unnecessary stress. Like that time I was two days late for my 'time of the month' and Erik found me laying in a heap on the shower floor crying about how I was going to have to quit school to raise a second child and we were forever going to live in his parents basement (No worries. Mother Nature came just a few hours later. I knew you were all wondering). Or just a few days ago when I swear I found a tumor in my armpit and was worrying if Jude would recognize me when I didn't have any hair from all of the chemo I was going to have to go through. Unnecessary stress, and life doing a little "Na na na na, boo boo" in my face.
When Jude was born the dam holding back the mother load of unnecessary stress and worry was broken and the floods came through. We were told of all of the things he will most likely be diagnosed with in addition to the extra chromosome. I won't even go into detail because guess what? We have been so blessed so far that we haven't had to worry about them. We were told by a few people; support coordinators, therapists, doctors, "Don't even plan on him walking until he is about 2 years old. To think it will happen any sooner will only get your hopes up". Oh thanks. Thank you for the words of encouragement, sike.
About a month ago I wanted to do a big karate kick to life's face, followed by a bunch of cool marshal arts moves. Jude, the stud he is, took his first steps at 18 months. And now he is a force to be reckoned with.
6 months before the expected time of walking, he began walking. That kid doesn't take no for an answer. No matter how many people told him how hard life was going to be for him, he knocked life right out of the ring and raised those Rocky fists of his. I half expected him to yell for Adrienne (Anyone? Anyone? I know my dad will be proud of that reference). He has no idea how hard life is supposed to be for him, because in his reality it is no harder than it is for you and for me. And I believe he is right.
As much as I would like to tell life to go to H-E-double hockey sticks, I can't do that because then I would probably be in H-E-double hockey sticks. But what I can do is begin to fix that dam of unnecessary stress and worry and ridiculousness with bricks of success. Jude's success. Jude's happiness, and the happiness I have in my life just for knowing him. And the best part? He's mine! The best part is walking in a room and hearing him yell "Mama!". The best part is the nighttime snuggles we have when he knows its time for bed, but he just wants one more hug. He is the best part of my life.
And if I have learned one thing in this life of mine so far, its that life is not really as hard as it may seem sometimes. In that moment it may feel like it, yes. But there is always something inside of you that can give life a good uppercut to the jaw and defeat the hard times. If my 18 month old can do it, why can't I?