Q4: Life With Charley

Sherry talks about feeling inadequate as a parent:

Charley knows nothing of that. He’s okay being who he is. I wanted some of that, I can tell you. I wanted to accept myself, but when it came to him it was the big fake-out. It was perfectly fine for him to be himself, just not at church. Not where people could criticize. No, at church I wanted him to be like the other kids. Sitting in the pews. Quiet. Coloring. Anything to prove I was a good mother, minister’s wife material. Just bring on the bragging rights. 

“Sit still,” I’d say. “Stop fidgeting.”

“If you do that one more time…”

But Charley did do that one more time, and it felt like we were being watched.

But to be fair, I found myself watching others just as much. I noticed every raised eyebrow, heard every “tsk tsk,” and tried my best to ignore every whisper, but we had so much to overcome; Brad—the pastor—the Dad who was terminally preoccupied, and me—the pastor’s wife—swallowing my urge to scream, “You think you’re so perfect. You try it for an hour if you think you can do better.”  Pp. 53-54

Do you ever feel like you’re being judged on your parenting? Do you think that every parent goes through this, or is it more complicated when a child has special needs?

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One comment on “Q4: Life With Charley
  1. Nova Hewitt says:

    I felt like that a lot when my daughter was younger and had what I called behavior seizures. Just absolute meltdowns for no particular reason that I could identify except transition. I learned to be still and wait for them to pass. I’d bring a umbrella chair and a magazine and sit beside her till it passed. I did think about how it looked to others and what they must be thinking. Those were the days. My only concern now is for people to see her as a wonderful companion and gifted young woman so that if they find they or anyone they love have a child like Kate they will remember her and feel blest in having a mystic baby.

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