Life has a funny way of changing the story you thought you were playing a role in. In the blink of an eye any one of us can have everything or we can lose everything. We don’t always have a choice in the roles we are playing but we do have power over the way we feel about that role.
When I found out my son had spinal muscular atrophy, I realized I had one choice to make. I could choose to grieve the life that I thought I was going to have or I could to choose to rejoice in my son. My son is the definition of joy itself, so I think it’s pretty clear which choice I made.
I didn’t know what to expect as a first time mother. All I knew was that the love I felt for my son was a deeper and more perfect love than I had ever felt before. My love for him would become an unstoppable force to move any immovable object out of his path and keep him safe. I knew that no matter what I would be there for my son and give him the best life possible.
I choose to think about his strengths and celebrate them rather than sulk on what he cannot do. We can already see that Kaden is social and brilliant. We will teach him that even though he will need assistance in many aspects of his life in regards to mobility, he will always be able to think independently and his mind will be his greatest strength. It pains me to think of the amount of able bodied people who lack the very ability to form their own thoughts.
The scariest part of SMA is the unknown. We know that his disease is degenerative over time so every day may be the strongest day of his life or he may be growing weaker. While that is a hard pill to swallow for a 10 month old baby, there is unknown in all of our lives. We just have the privilege of knowing that we have to make the most of each moment and hold on to every smile.
If I could go back in time and change any of this I wouldn’t. I would choose Kaden every time.
The one thing that is certain is our love for our son. Our love grows deeper with every breath.