I define myself by motherhood, I write about it. But what made me think I knew what I was doing?
took my son to the osteopath today,” I told a friend who had been on a similar journey with her own son.
“Good for you,” she responded. “Hatzlachah rabbah.”
“I took my son to the osteopath today,” I said to another friend.
“What did she say?”
“That we should see a change within a few days. Even if it’s just that he stays on task 30 seconds longer. But you know me — I don’t deal in 30 seconds. I won’t notice anything less than an hour.” I laughed in an attempt to pretend I’m not as impatient as I sounded.
“I took Baruch to the osteopath today,” I told my sister.
“You did what? Why didn’t you call me first?” My sister is a behavior analyst.
“The OT told us to,” I said defensively. My sister believes in occupational therapy.
The osteopath came recommended by the OT, who came recommended by a good friend, an OT from out of town. Whose advice I sought on my pediatrician’s recommendation, because it’s 2019 and what do we mothers — terribly unsure about our mothering — do if not take our kids to the professionals to fix them up?
So there I was. I still don’t know much about osteopathy, except that it’s meant to locate learning “blockages” and correct them. The doctor mentioned that she found anxiety within my five-year-old’s frame. (Surprise! This is the kid who won’t let me walk into the kitchen to turn off the oven, and if I insist, he drops all his Clics and comes tagging along.) She talked about how from birth to age seven, children look to their mothers for grounding.
Ouch. How did I ever get into this parenting thing?
No, that came out wrong. I don’t want to get off the train; I love being a mother, thank Hashem for it daily. I define myself by motherhood, I write about it. But what made me think I knew what I was doing?
I’ve always promised myself I’d never be one of those, who rush from therapy to therapy. My children are healthy, normal kids, and knowing others who aren’t, I do not take it for granted. My kids are like my siblings and I were back when we were growing up. Looking back, I can see the issues. This brother only ate foods of certain textures. That sister hated tags on her clothing. This brother hated noise. That brother loved it. None of us went for sensory integration therapy. It existed, sure, but for the kids who needed it. We didn’t need it.
My kid doesn’t need it, either. He’ll probably be fine without it. But we need to live through all the years until he gets to the place where he’s fine. This can help.
So I sat in the office as the osteopath poked various locations on Baruch’s back. I was reminded of the chiropractor I visited twice a week as a teen. I asked the osteopath whether this structural alignment was permanent.
“It could last two hours, two days, or two years. We don’t know,” she said.
Finally, my son had had enough. (So had I.) He turned to me and asked in a stage whisper, “When are we going home?”
(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 658)