Michael and I are complete opposites. He's a West Coaster, I'm an East Coaster. He's a Republican, I'm a Democrat. He is Tall and brown eyed and I'm Short with blue eyes. He's the strong, silent type, I'm the vocal and emotional one. He likes chocolate ice cream and I like vanilla. He's methodical and patient, and I'm the hurry up, lets get this done and over with. By now you get the point! But being married with a child who has disabilities forces even the most polar opposites to agree to disagree. Michael and I promised each other a long time ago that we would never overstep each other's wishes when it comes to making medical, legal, or educational decisions for Ari. As of this writing, we have successfully lived up to that agreement. Which essentially means that we have bargained, negotiated, compromised, and given in to each other many times. In some respects I think having a child with disabilites has made our union stronger. This is surprising considering that the divorce rate in the general population is over 50%, and in the special needs community it is even higher. But we are a statistical outlier. Yes, I am proud to say that. We have made it thus far and lived to tell!!!
In the early days, we were just in survival mode. We didn't know how to comfort ourselves, much less each other. We decided if one of us was having a bad day that it was ok to declare, " I call crying today". Fortunately our timing was impeccable and we rarely grieved on the same days. When Michael was down, I was steady, and when I was distraught, he was strong. We really never knew what to expect from day to day, it was a new and foreign journey we were on. But the one thing that was consistent, was our love for one another and the love that we had for our family.
Nothing can prepare you for this journey, there's no training manual, there's no crash course to take, or special needs how to get from A to Z book, and there's certainly no married with special needs 911 number to call. So its all about learn as you go. I know we are a work in progress and after 19 years together I think its safe to say we are progressing nicely! As Ari would say, "we are Team Ari and we don't give up!"
~Wishing you Miles of Smiles