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I was feeding Moxie the other day, glanced out the window, saw a troup of special-needs kids walk by and lost it.

I mean, I lost it.

Put down Moxie’s food, head in my hands and bawled.

The big, gulping kind of bawl. The damn-I’m-losing-it kind of bawl.

Concerned, Micah came around, “why are you crying, Mama?”
I couldn’t answer. I was too busy trying to catch my breath.
“Are you crying because of a monster?”
I started to say no, but then I realized that I was – monsters, after all, were invading my brain. So I nodded yes.

Be not scared of monsters, Mama. You should not be scared of monsters.”

It’s all a-jumble.

I’m heart-stoppingly scared that Moxie will be like those kids.

I’m deeply ashamed of that fear.

I think that from the perspective of those kids, life can be quite a peach. And I’m sure their parents would not appreciate my not wanting my daughter to join their troup (therein my shame lies).

Their lives have meaning, purpose, joy – I know it.

And I *still* don’t want my Moxie to be grouped with them.

Be not scared of monsters, Mama. You should not be scared of monsters.”

The  monsters, the thoughts that scare.

All parents have them.

Different monsters, some that lie in wait under the bed, some that lurk behind the door.

Some that scare us into thinking our kid will be hurt in a car crash, that our kid might be teased, might not have friends. Might walk, talk, laugh, think differently. Or that our kid might, heart-breakingly, succumb to some substance that might destroy them. Us parents all have monsters, don’t we?

Be not scared of monsters, Mama. You should not be scared of monsters.”

And so.
I’ll take another deep breath.
Turn on the flashlight
Face that sucker
Pack it away, put it in the worm bin
It has no place here

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  1. Anna Theurer says:

    Thank you for this brutally honest post. We have all been there. I am scared of the time when the social gap between her and her peers widens–the time when she doesn't get invited to the birthday parties at school or to a slumber party. Or if and when the time comes my best friend's daughter no longer wants to hang with Ellie. Micah is a wise child for I shall start repeating to myself "be not scared of monsters" whenever these thoughts invade my brain.

  2. Sally Carter says:

    I love you Meriah. From wherever I may be, to wherever you are, you will always be in my heart, and I will always be your friend and hold you tight. That is all.
    Except to say the photo of Moxie in a big biiig hat is adorable. Now that is all xxx

  3. Team Lando says:

    Micah is a smart one. Moxie is very lucky to have him! (And it goes without saying, they're both lucky to have you!)

  4. This has happened to me before, and just knowing that someone else has had that same moment of fear and sadness hit them, helps me know these feelings are normal. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  5. This post made me tear up. I've felt that before, too. Thank you for being so honest, for sharing what so many others think and feel but are too scared to say. You're an amazing woman and mother, Meriah.

    Oh, and I have to agree with Sally about that pic of Moxie – deeeeeelicious!!!!

  6. This socked me in the gut. So painful and beautiful.

  7. I think our community would benefit from more honesty like this.

    These feelings aren't "all the time" feelings, but they happen, and I think if we were all willing to be this honest, we'd feel a lot less lonely when we're feeling them.

  8. well, the other commenters got to it first but…
    Thanks for the honesty!
    Our underlying programming, fears, socialization…al of that is not magically undone when a baby with special features comes into our life. We may be able to readjust our conscious thoughts and belief as we grow more wise but there's a lot of programming deep inside that doesn't give up just cause we wish it would.
    I feel so grateful to have Nava in a time/society where we have constructive ways to share the brutally honest truth together and learn from it. I cannot imagine going down this path wrapped up in a "always be positive and smile and never tell anybody I'm hurting" mode like our culture used to expect.
    Thanks again and hugs!

  9. Diana Hudson, MSW says:

    To Anne, if and when those "friends' weed themselves out of your darlin's life…consider it a gift.

  10. Pampered Mummy says:

    I have just stumbled across your blog and love your honesty. I think as parents we all do have monster that lurk, waiting to jump out. I have similar monsters where I worry my children will struggle ans suffer from depression like their father. Thank you for sharing this and I will subscribe to read more.

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