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Published March 18, 2013, 11:34 PM

Parenting Perspectives: Taking a new path reminds us to learn

When we become parents we are forced to make difficult decisions. Some certainly more difficult than others. Whether life threatening, life changing or just a step or two too far outside our comfort zone, change is inescapable. This week, I am tackling change.

By: Kerri Kava, INFORUM

When we become parents we are forced to make difficult decisions. Some certainly more difficult than others.

Whether life threatening, life changing or just a step or two too far outside our comfort zone, change is inescapable. This week, I am tackling change.

I’m taking a new step in my career, one that will bring me closer to my family. Luckily, I am able to continue contributing in this parenting column.

I’m so thankful because writing this column has taught me to open up and speak about the challenges and joys of raising a child with special needs. It has taught me that speaking up sometimes helps others in ways I never thought possible. It’s shown me that other moms and dads are out there struggling, loving, smiling and living daily with hope for their children’s future. Maybe it’s just to get them to talk, take their first step, finding money to afford those expensive orthotics or perhaps it’s finding time to get off work to get to those relentless reoccurring appointments.

If I have helped even one of you, it’s all been worth it.

This week I’m making a career move. While the change excites me, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.

A great person I know gave me advice when it comes to my career. He told me, “Don’t be a coward. Anyone can do what they’ve always done.”

While I know that applies to my career, I also think it applies to my other job of being a mom. How easy is it for me to stay in my comfort zone, providing for my son all of the regular therapies he has been having, the same school, same day care, same everything for years.

I know children need consistency, but I don’t think change is bad for our children either. After all, I moved many times in my childhood, and I truly think it has given me the characteristics necessary to communicate effectively, embrace change and quickly build lasting relationships.

While I know I won’t move my son often, he is starting a new school, day care and therapy center all in one week. He loves people and settles in quickly. I know he will do very well, especially since he’ll be in the same school now as his cousins. This move will afford our family the opportunity to be near our family support system. It will give him daily priceless love from his grandparents and his cousins, who he begs for continuously.

The more we learn about being parents, the more we learn we have so much to learn. I have learned from other parents, co-workers and therapists to never determine ahead of time what my child will accomplish. I believe the same should apply to a child who doesn’t have special needs.

We cannot determine how far they will go, what they will accomplish, where their desires will take them, when they’ll fall or how often they’ll need picked up. But we can support them, love them, guide them, cherish them and someday, finally, set them free.


Kerri Kava can be reached at kerrikava18@gmail.com

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