How I Know You're a Different Parent

I think that there are lots of parents out there who talk about how being the parent of a disabled child makes them different from parents of non-disabled children. I'm glad that they do talk about that difference because it's important that our parents have support systems! In this post I share my own observations from the perspective of a daughter.
I know you are different from other parents because: 

1. All of your patience first went to me.
You had all the time in the world to transfer me inch by inch, from the floor to the car so we could go to the doctor's.. yet again. You had all the time in the world to stand by and go through all those days, weeks, months of healing and then recovery. You had all the time in the world to help me adjust to what the world sounded like through hearing-aids. How I would loathe to be the the nurse who changed my diaper the wrong way. I fear for the healthcare providers who dared to leave us waiting around for 2 hours. I sometimes feel bad for my brothers who were hurried to Being a Big Boy Helper because you spent the night with me post-op. I tremble for the police officer who was suspicious of your explanation of why my spica cast wouldn't fit in a car seat.

2. You are always ready for interruptions. Always. 
I never had to wonder if it would be okay to interrupt you at a work meeting. I never questioned whether or not I'd have to call the neighbor instead. I never thought to ask if you needed time to go look for the cast or brace, or pain medication. And when you did show-up you made it look seamless, like you expected to be there the whole time.

3. You worried about the expected, never the unexpected.When it was time for that first sleep-over, or my first over-night trip, or the first time I went away from home alone, the first time I crossed the street alone - those moments were vacuums of sleep and sanity for you. And yet those are things every average child experiences in his or her lifetime. When I climbed on top of my wheelchair to reach, or when I still preferred to do a half-bunny-hop-half-crawl at the age of 12, or when I slid down the stairs with a full leg cast... you simply shrugged your shoulders, assuming that those were just behaviors I used to adapt. Those are not things every average child does, but they are the things you expected your child to do: and that's how I knew you accepted and understood my differences. This is how you made me feel normal.

What other things makes parents of kids with disabilities different? What else am I missing?   

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