For a first time I know ‘I done good’

Posted 5/17/23

If you have children, being a mother is a lifelong occupation. Fortunately, I am in retirement. At times it has been difficult to know if what I was doing was right or wrong.

Francis, my oldest …

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For a first time I know ‘I done good’


If you have children, being a mother is a lifelong occupation. Fortunately, I am in retirement. At times it has been difficult to know if what I was doing was right or wrong.

Francis, my oldest son, affirmed my strategy for raising a child who is blind.  My philosophy was that he could do anything any other child could do, only sometimes he would do things differently.  He attended regular classes instead of special education and learned to assimilate into a sighted world.  He may not have been able to read regular print, but talking or extra-large print books were sufficient.

Fortunately, computers were making headway when he was in school, and he was able to type his answers and take notes. Like other boys his age, he was interested in sports, but knew that some were out of capacity. He became the manager of the football team, keeping statistics and making strategic notes. He chose swimming, (where he won a state championship on a swim team,) and wrestling, (which I watched with my heart in my stomach, afraid he would get hurt.) With a sighted guide, he learned to sail on the little lake behind our house and skied the black diamond slopes in New Hampshire. He became the first blind Eagle Scout in RI, having enjoyed years of camping with Hubby as the troop leader.

Francis earned many awards and scholarships, with the ultimate being the Gates Scholarship which paid for his Ph.D. at Cambridge University in England. Now he is a senior supervisor at a major computer company in Silicon Valley developing computer innovations for people with disabilities. He has always tried to hire workers with disabilities, but laments that they lack the social skills that were taught to him during his upbringing.  Brilliant blind workers with their doctorate degrees would come for the job interview and they would not offer their hand for a handshake, and not make eye contact, hanging their heads and looking at the ground.  He was taught to look up at the person’s eyes, even if he could not see them. I experienced the ultimate mother moment when he told me he appreciated the way he was raised.

While raising Francis was by instinct, it was much more difficult with my three youngest children who are adopted foster children. All had birth parents who were drug addicts, and both Steven and Angel were born addicted to heroin and cocaine. In addition, Angel and Marie had both been severely physically abused and their psyches were severely damaged. I raised them by the seat of my pants, instinctively doing what I could to make them feel loved and secure, all the while not knowing if it made any difference.

I am proud to say that this Mother’s Day, coincidentally, for some odd reason, the three of them sent me cards which affirmed my parenting style. Steven is just now “coming into his own” with a great welding job he loves, a fiancé and an awesome six-year-old daughter. His card read, “Happy Mother’s Day!  I know I have not made your life easy from the start, but you never ever gave up on me. I would have been lost in this world if I did not have the best mother in the world.  I love you, Momma, from your crazy wild middle child.”  Awww….

Angel, who is living in Orlando with his biological brothers and driving for Uber, wrote “I hope you know that I love you and was really lucky that you adopted me. I may have not always shown it, and for that I am sorry. Love both you guys! Thank you.”  Double awww….

Marie sent a card with a picture of strawberry cheesecake on the front, (my favorite.) It says “You’ve always believed in me, been there for me and loved me no matter what, so on this special Mother’s Day, I was to say Thank You!” In her elementary school handwriting she wrote, “from a small girl til I grew up, and even now I adult, you always been there for me. I forever grateful for you as my mom.  I love you much!!”  Triple awww…..

At this age, for the first time in my life, I know I have “done good” as a parent. Thanks for letting me brag about it!

For anyone interested in learning more details about my exhilarating life, please purchase my book “The Apple: Tree, Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane”, available on Amazon.


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