I got to thinking the other day. Well, more accurately, a post on a message board got me to thinking. My son James. He's got "issues" as we call them around here. That's stating it mildly. James is currently taking 4 different medications for various things. Odds are that after he sees the Pediatric Endocrinologist in October, there will be another. New things just keep cropping up with him.
James is a highly special needs child. Appearences are very deceiving when it comes to him. Aside from the fact that he is VERY small for his age, about the size of a "typical" 5 year old and he's almost 9, there is nothing about his outward appearence to make one stop and say "that child is special". He is very smart for his age. He can be very charismatic and charming.
James has a list. And the list keeps getting longer and longer. On that list are things like Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder, Sleep Disorder, Growth Disorder, etc., etc., etc. I never signed up to be the mother of a child with special needs. Especially one like James. I'll admit that I cried when I found out Izzy was a boy because I was so worried that he would be "another James". I knew I could care for one "James", but 2???
I love all of my children. Sometimes remembering that I love James can be hard. It does get easier as he gets older and he learns control and we understand more about him. These are all honest feelings and I'm sharing them with you. I don't want to take any flak for feeling them. In all honesty, unless you have a child like James, you don't have any room to give me flak anyway.
I wonder often about James and who he will be when he is an adult. I wonder just how he will be able to handle working in the "real" world. Will he ever get over his video game obsession? Will he ever learn to really connect with other people? Those are things I think of, on top of the usual stuff of wondering about the kind of woman he may or may not marry, and what college he will go to.
I'm going to leave this post with a couple of things. First a thought, and then an excerpt. The excerpt is from a woman who is talking about discovering her child has Fragile X Syndrome. While I particularly identify with what she is saying, having a special needs child, I think that it applies to all parents. Her name is credited along with the title. I got the excerpt from a woman on another message board I post on. The thought is this. There is a wonderful strong lively woman with two beautiful boys on one of my boards. She just found out recently that her oldest boy is on the Autism Spectrum. Needless to say she is having such a difficult time adjusting. I still am having a difficult time adjusting, and I've known about James since he was about 1 1/2 years old. I shared the excerpt with her. I also told her this. "I'm not promising roses, but tulips are just as beautiful when they bloom." And that's the truth of being a parent. You may not get the roses you planned on, but those tulips are just as bright and beautiful coming up in the spring.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND by Emily Perl Kingsley
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go.
Several hour later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.” But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for awhile a you catch your breath, you look around...... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills.... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes, that's where I was suppose to go. That's what I had planned.”And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away.....because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.....BUT ....if you spend your life mourning that fact that you didn't get to Italy, YOU may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things,....about HOLLAND!