Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adverse situations- and often stronger than before! Resilience is about bending, but not breaking; we can be stretched beyond our comfort zones, yet still, we endure. Parenting has equipped us to be strong and resilient. Think of a time in your parenting when you were at your wits end and you didn’t know what to do. You might have felt that you were alone in dealing with your situation and that you had exhausted all of your options. You might have thought that your back was up against the wall and the situation was growing more dismal by the minute. And then something glorious happened- you had a breakthrough; a moment where you pushed through and got on the other side of that thing that had you stuck! While going through it, your worst fears and doubts may have surfaced, but at some point, your perspective shifted, you discovered untapped resources and a renewed strength! This is what it means to be resilient.
My youngest son has a progressive neuromuscular disorder; his muscles from the neck down are extremely weak and for the most part, he cannot move his body. When he was younger, he had mobility in his index fingers and he used his fingers to operate his computerized communication device. Eventually, he lost the mobility in his fingers and therefore, couldn’t operate his computer; he lost his way of communicating with his family and the world. I was devastated, to say the least. I racked my brain trying to figure out another way for my son to communicate and I worked with his therapists to find a solution, but the options presented, didn’t work for him. Then, one day it dawned on me-eureka! If he could use the little strength in his index fingers, maybe his toes were a possibility; he had limited mobility in his ankles and his feet. I pitched my idea to his speech therapist and she assessed the movement in his feet and determined that he had enough movement in his great left toe to attach a splint that would connect to his communication device and allow him to click. It worked! Now, my son uses his great left toe to access his computerized communication device and all is well in his world. I now affectionately refer to his feet as his “happy feet!”