I wrote a post last year, after AMC Awareness Day had passed, reflecting back on it, and comparing it to our first AMC Awareness Day. I actually had full intentions of doing the same this year. To reflect on a year, to overanalyze and think about things and how different they were. I honestly had planned on sitting down while on vacation, and just letting the emotions pour, positive or negative, and putting them into words.
Clearly, I didn’t do that.
In June, I planned to raise awareness for AMC, Club Foot, hip dysplasia, and Scoliosis. These conditions are among Harrison’s collection of many. (He should have been a June baby, I supposed.) I had grand plans of putting together posts and infographics, and just highlighting and sharing information and stats on all of them during their month of awareness.
Clearly, I didn’t do those either.
At some point, I’m going to have to accept that June is an emotional month for me, and no amount of planning or goal-setting will change that.
I also have to accept that, despite becoming more of a seasoned professional with each passing year, the month of June is going to affect me differently.
Year 1 was all about processing it all. To try to find ways through the fog of shock that I was still functioning through. It was an emotional time, but it was raw emotion. Emotion wrapped in freshly opened and still opening wounds.
Last year was about processing it but on a different level. Last year helped teach me to not get my feelings hurt. To not expect an outpouring of support from people simply because they’re family, or because they take an interest in your journey. While the occasionally outside support is welcomed and uplifting, the heart of the matter is that Harrison has his core of supporters and that’s all he needs.
This year was different.
Why was it different? I can’t truly say.
The easiest assumption is that it is the accumulation of emotions from the past year. I have developed two key times to reflect. On Harrison’s birthday, and on June 30th; AMC Awareness Day. The difference this year compared to the past two was it just wasn’t AMC Awareness Day, but it was the month of June in its entirety.
AMC Awareness Month.
Club Foot Awareness Month.
Scoliosis Awareness Month.
Hip Dysplasia Awareness Month.
An entire month of reflection, just not on one thing, but on many.
I wanted to do a lot of different things, but when I sat down and started thinking it through, and started to plan things out, it became overwhelming.
It just became a lot, and it became a month where I reflected. Where I enjoyed the time with my son and family. Where I didn’t worry about posting infographics and inundating people with facts or numbers on social media.
It was an emotionally heavy month and one that I took slowly. I took the month as methodically as time allowed because I finally let all that settle in.
We have years and years to raise awareness, to bring attention to these different conditions and causes. That’s the thing with AMC, Club foot, scoliosis, and hip dysplasia, those don’t go away. They are all a part of who Harrison is, and what he has gone through in two short years.
It’s apparent that with each year, as time marches on and we continue forward on this path, I will continue to emotionally evolve, in this role of Harrison’s Dad, of Jenna’s husband, as a parent to a disabled child.
The thing is, and this is something that is honestly just striking me as I type this, that’s no different from evolving as Canaan’s dad, or Abby’s dad. As a parent, you’re always evolving, growing, and changing, not just with your children, but with society as well.
It’s all still parenting, just on a different plane than most.
I walked away from AMC Awareness Day 2023, not as defeated or as heartbroken as I did in 2022. I was more emotionally drained, but that’s because this year, it wasn’t just a day; it was an entire month.
I think I came out the other end alright.
I think when you break it down, June will just be an emotional month for me, because of all it represents now.
It represents a lot now, as it does for many, and that’s something I won’t take for granted.