There is a new commercial for Target's education donation program. In it, teenagers are getting their college acceptance letters (online, it seems - so much for the fat or skinny envelope, I guess.) Their parents, friends or siblings are around them as they proudly declare, "I got in!"
Will we have that? It seems like a lifetime away, but I can't help but think about what the future holds for Scarlett. We have met many parents, both at the camps we have the privilege of attending and online, who have fought similar battles with their own children. Now, for many, their children are not kids any more, but they aren't really adults, either - they can't hold a full-time job, won't attend college, may never be able to live away from their parents.
We're only in preschool, and I have learned enough thus far to know that I can't predict the future, but I ask myself ...Will Scarlett go to her prom? With a date? Will she able to live independently? College? A rewarding and fulfilling job that gives her some personal satisfaction and challenges her? Will people accept her with whatever deficits she may have and include her in "normal" society? Will she find a partner who loves her the way she deserves? Will she get married? Have a child? Will her life offer her the opportunity to make choices and decisions for herself?
Will she live to get a chance?
I try not to let the worries spiral out of control - it does no good. Every parent worries about their child's future, so I know I am not alone. Even typical kids have to grow up, and it's almost never the way their parents planned. I am more motivated than ever to find the right schools and supportive professionals who can help her make progress toward more of her goals. We have high hopes, and are devoted to surrounding Scarlett with as much love and support as it takes. But sometimes, I wonder what the next phases of this battle will bring for her, and if I am strong enough to get her through it.
Tonight, I'm thankful she is still so little. It helps to know that the scary future is so very far away. She's tucked into her mermaid quilt in footie pajamas with her doll and her pacifier, and that's enough for today.