Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Sage was my first child. Every milestone was amazing, every smile a celebration, every diaper a joy to change (well, maybe not every diaper!). As she grew we celebrated more achievements each and every day. I don’t remember quite when, but in the midst of all the celebrating I began to notice that Sage’s milestones were coming slower than those of other kids around us – I noticed that even though we were celebrating milestones, we were celebrating them behind others and I became concerned. Everyone around us keep telling me not to worry, “kids do things at their own pace”, “she’ll catch up”, “you worry too much” and I figured they were right, but in the back of my mind I worried that something wasn’t right. As it turned out all my well meaning, reassuring friends and family (and even doctors) were wrong and I was right. At over 2 ½ years old, we learned that Sage was developmentally disabled. Overnight I went from a stay at home mom of two (Jack had arrived when Sage was 19 months old) to the mom of “a disabled child”. I spent the next 6-9 months in a daze wondering what I/we did wrong, what would her diagnosis be, what would her future look like. I found myself pulling away from friends with “typical” kids and pulling into myself, hiding in fear of how others would view her, Jack, us, our family…..I wasted a lot of time feeling sorry for myself.

Time marched on as it always does though and I began to lift from my haze realizing that Sage was making loads of progress right before my eyes. I began to look at her in a different way. I stopped looking at Sage as “unable” and started looking at her as Sage – a little girl with tremendous potential hiding under the surface. I started to embrace her abilities and challenge her disabilities. I became the proud parent of a “special needs” child, a champion for the under-dog, a teacher of acceptance. I replaced my former feelings of loss and hopelessness with feelings of purpose and thoughts of the future. Am I embarrassed to admit that at one time I was disappointed? Yes- for sure, but now rather than feeling sorry for myself for being the mother of a disabled child I feel blessed to be – chosen to be. Not everyone gets the chance to raise a child like Sage and her tremendously patient brother Jack – I am glad that we get that chance because I don’t think we’ll ever take for granted our role as parents and the amazing things our children will accomplish.

As I write this Sage is now 7 years old and I am preparing for her stage debut in the school production of “Greased” tomorrow night (the picture is from her dress rehearsal). Four years ago I would have NEVER imagined Sage could say a joke in front of a couple hundred people she doesn’t know and do a little dance to Rock Around the Clock and Don’t Know Much About History – I look forward to seeing what she is doing another 4 years from now!!!


  1. Let me just say this, I can think of no better champion for Sage. She is so special and so lucky to have such an awesome mom.

  2. Cat, You have an amazing family indeed! I only feel sorry that I've been near by and not quite realized or understood all that you've gone through and offered you more support. I am truly inspired by you, Mike, Sage & Jack.

  3. What a beautiful story, and such a cute picture. I am sure both of your children are blessed to have you as their mom.


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