I would like to think I would go to almost any length to help either one of my children live a better life, especially if their health is at stake, but I know there are some limits to this. Especially if it means I need to throw off the family balance to such an extent that it compromises the well-being of everyone else to a long-term detriment. Sometimes as a parent you don’t always know when you are going too far in one direction until you are already there and then need to figure out how to repair family relationships.
So far I think my husband and I have been able to find a decent balance in the last few years but there is no question we need to make some tweaks. What comes to mind as I write this is a Bosu ball, where the Bosu ball represents trying to maintain the family balance. On a Bosu ball you can shift your weight in one direction which would be the same as someone in the family taking or requiring more energy then the other sides but then there comes a point where you try to take a little more at the expense of keeping your balance and you have no choice but to step off or fall of the ball. Life is no different. I think it is unrealistic to believe that you can sit perfectly on top in the centre, equally balancing everyone’s needs within a unit of time. Within a day, week or month there are going to be different shifts in focus but the key to maintaining overall balance is whether the shift stays one-sided or whether it shifts constantly.
Some of the changes we need to make concern Reilly. Up until now I can honestly say that despite her challenges she is a happy child and I could almost bet my life on it that should she be able to communicate to us right now, she would confirm that we have been as inclusive as you could be given the circumstances and that she feels our love in spades from the moment she wakes up to the minute she closes her eyes to sleep. Plus the care and compassion we extend to her during her repeated night-time awakenings despite the impact it has on our lives. Having said this I think we could do better and that is why we are considering moving to Calgary. Calgary appears to have far better school programs, after school care options, and summer programs that Reilly might be able to take advantage of. It doesn’t hurt that Alberta also offers financial support to families with special needs children, unlike Ontario. Although Ontario has something called Special Services at Home which we are qualified to receive, in our region they have no money and we have been on a waiting list for almost 5 years now. So at the end of January we will be making a visit to Calgary to review some of the schools that might be an option and to see the city again from the view of potentially moving there. It is both exciting and daunting at the same time, especially when I hear it is -32 degrees celsius right now when it is only -1 here.
The good thing with this potential move is that London would not lose out on opportunities and might even be better off as well. Of course the downside is that she will have to go through the process of making new friends which I never wanted her to have to do but given her age (soon to be 6) I think she will prove to be more than resilient.