Yes, you read that right. I flipped the coined phrase, “work smarter not harder.” As a special needs Mom, the above phrase has been a mantra that I have applied to life many times over. If I worked smarter, it would make life so much easier. I search for clothes that would make diaper changing an 8 year old simpler, shoes that would make getting out the door faster, methods that would make administering meds easier and the list could go on and on. However, my mind has been changed. What changed my thoughts on this phrase? ADALYN.

You see, I was driving Addie to school which is very rare these days because of our current arrangements to have her caregiver drive her to school daily but due to unforeseen circumstances, I was the one taking her today. As soon as I pulled into the parking spot at school, it occurred to me that I forgot to give Addie her liquid medication that she takes religiously every morning. Because of Addie’s intractable epilepsy, she could not survive the day without it. I began to form excuses the moment that I realized that I messed up and would need to drive back home to get her medication and back to school again. I began casting blame on my circumstances that surrounded that morning because I didn’t need to blame myself, after all, forgetfulness happens. Frustration set in as I processed how this now necessary trip would affect the rest of my day. I started to think of what I could have done differently to avoid having to work harder to accomplish what I would need to get done today, because my day was now affected in so many ways by this simple mistake.

My thoughts turned back to Addie who was now beginning her day at school… my mind frantically processing and then, my thoughts smacked me in the face. My thoughts caused me to let go of my frustration. The same frustration that Addie must feel when she is pushed beyond her present capabilities. The frustration Addie must feel when she is forced to take medication beyond her control. The frustration she must feel when a seizure has shut her body down. The same frustration that Addie must feel everyday when having to work hard to live.

That thought that eased my frustration…Addie doesn’t cast blame on her circumstances nor can she work smarter. Addie has one choice…work harder.

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