I've decided to keep an art journal. That's where all the "stuff" that I don't want to include in my regular scrapbooks will be kept. You know, the raw emotions and feelings that I don't necessarily care to share with everyone. My first page is about being the mother of a special needs child: our son, David. This is what the journaling says:
What is it like to be the mother of a special needs child? Well, for one thing, it's never boring. It's unpredictable, to say the least.
When I wake up in the morning, I really don't know what to expect. Will he have a tantrum today? Or will it be a total meltdown? Will he throw something, break something, scream and curse at me? Will I get to the point where I just want to run away and never come back?
This might make me sound like a terrible mother, but there are days when I just don't want to be a Mom. I just want to be Jeanette. I want to do what I want to do, go where I want to go, be what I want to be. Does that really make me a bad mother? I don't know, but it's the best I can do some days. Besides, I'm still here, right? I can't be that bad.
There are other days, though. Days when he remembers things that I had long forgotten, times we've spent together that were true happiness. Or he tells a joke that has me shaking and crying with laughter instead of anger. There are days when a simple "I love you, Mom" is all I need to make my day.
So, I'll tell you what it's like to be the mother of a special needs child. It's like being on a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you're speeding uphill, sometimes you're speeding downhill, and sometimes you're coasting along on level tracks.
I hope you decide to give art journaling a try. It's very freeing and quite therapeutic. And let's not forget how much fun it is to play with art supplies.