It happens frequently; a parent will post a video of their child doing something new.
A first handful of words spoken at age four from an otherwise non-verbal child, first steps at age eight, rolling over for the first time at age two years and eleven days.
Parents certain that these miraculous milestones are a result of a new therapy that was introduced, stem cell treatments, the use of cannabis, or a new diet.
You watch videos of the progress their children are visibly making and you can't help but think if you follow the exact same path, your child will also see the same results.
‘Hope’, tells you to inquire of that parent further.
You absorb the details of their child's success.
Your mind races on how you can get to the same finish line as fast as they did.
Can you fundraise enough to afford a new treatment or therapy?
Can you drive one hundred miles to the same dispensary for cannabis?
Can you break the bank on a new diet that will be completely funded out of pocket?
Your brain and your heart confuse signals and somehow everything just doesn't feel possible but becomes certain.
You've convinced yourself in the moment of, ‘hope’, that your child will find and see the same results if you follow in another parent's footsteps.
We all want to believe that. I want to believe that.
It's natural to hope, to long and to wish that our child will find the same success and healing that other children do.
I've been there lots of times, and many years later it still happens to me.
I can still see a video of a child and think to myself if only I was doing what that other family is doing, my child would be doing better than he is.
It takes me a day or so to come down from that ‘wishful high’ that I get from the idea that if I do exactly what another family is doing medically, therapeutically, or holistically that my child will talk, and walk, and sit and do all these amazing things that other children are doing at much later ages than typical developing children do.
And then I realize looking back that I have tried many of these things before, and my child still isn't capable of the sudden progress that other children are making.
While it's healthy to keep your eyes and ears open for new technologies, equipment, and treatments, it's unrealistic to set yourself up to believe that your child will have identical results to another child.
Milestones in the mirror may appear closer than they are.
It's okay to experiment with new things. Try new therapies, medical devices, diets and remedies, but do it with a guarded heart.
Don't put all your eggs into the basket that says my child will achieve the same results.
Give it a good college try, but know that you and your child are going to be okay - in fact you will both be more than okay if the dream that you are chasing that you have seen another child experience, isn't the same dream that you experience.
The reflection and revelations you see in your own child's mirror are still beautiful.