I’m going to reveal my age with this but do you remember the movie Freaky Friday? It starred Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris as the mother and daughter duo that swap places with each other after lamenting that the others’ life is easier and wishing they could trade spots. They did a remake with Lindsey Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis but the one I grew up watching was the one with Jodie Foster.
I’ve decided that I want my super power to be my own version of Freaky Friday. I want to swap places with people who don’t get it: with a mom who takes it all for granted. The mom who has the luxury to assume that school will be an easy and happy place. The mom who takes for granted that her child’s work will be the best on the bulletin board in the hallway at school. The teacher who says, “I don’t believe in medication.” The mean man at the grocery store who gives me the evil eye because my son is a tad hyper.
I want them to see what it is like to try to get an unmedicated child to sit at the breakfast table and eat breakfast so he doesn’t have to take medicine on an empty stomach.
I want them to see how it feels to pick your child up from school and rush to therapy appointments day after day after day.
I want them to see how it feels when another mom judges you because your child is not as mature, or advanced or successful academically.
I want them to see how it feels when another mom judges your child because he can’t write as well as the other kids on the assignments hanging up in the hallway.
I want them to see what it is like to do homework with a child that needs INTENSE support and is unmedicated by the time we can sit down to do it.
I want them to have to help with the extra homework because the therapists give homework even though he is already overwhelmed with work as it is.
I want them to feel the internal struggle of wondering if your child will grow up to be happy and independent.
There are so many millions of details that I attend to on a daily basis that they don’t have to deal with.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not wishing pain or struggle on anyone. I just think that when we walk a mile in someone else’s shoes we often become more compassionate. And my kid could use some extra compassion a good deal of the time. You know what – I could use some extra compassion a good deal of the time.
At the end I know I would still want to swap back because as hard as it is sometimes I love my kids just the way they are and I’m certain my Freaky Friday counterpart will be ready to go back to his or her life as well. But I think it would offer a good perspective shift for both of us. And maybe my imaginary super power could save the world one special needs child at a time.
Those of us who are already parenting these kids, already have super powers that we use every day just to make it through the day. But what additional super power would you wish for?