My Special (Ed) child (Pt 2)
This isn't an easy place to be, being the mother of a special child. Don't get me wrong, I have the best children on earth. Both of my boys are sweet and beautiful and amazing little guys. They have huge personalities, they have beautiful eyes, beautiful smiles, beautiful precious little hearts. They are the literal best kids on earth, but someday's, hell most days, are a huge challenge.
I know there are mother's out there that have it a lot worse than me! We are dealing with the MILD end of the spectrum at best. My son is not non-verbal, the way many are. He talks a lot! Most of his speech is pre-learned phrases and he does not have the ability to hold a conversation with you. You can often have a full conversation about him right in front of him and he wont even be aware that you are there, much less that you are speaking about him. He protests to bedtimes and bath times, the same as any other kid. But while other kids might come up with some story about why they can't get in the bath right now because they are in the middle of their episode of Paw Patrol and they just need 10 more minutes, Arthur will simply yell "NO!" or the occassional "No! Bath time is closed!"
You would really have to get to know this kid to understand him completely. He looks completely normal, he is a ridiculously beautiful little boy actually! He doesn't do anything that I would consider to be extremely bizarre or abnormal. There are just some things that he doesn't necessarily, that are considered typical for boys his age. The Occupation Therapist is working on helping him learn to cut with scissors, take his own pants up and down, and open his own snack. The school is helping him get accustomed to socializing with peers. He isn't strange, he just isn't typical. I know parents with kiddos who flip out over the textures of fabrics or the mention of a non preferred food item. I know parents that live breathe and die by a strict routine in order to keep their child regulated and minimize melt downs. I know parents who can't take their children out in public because the tantrums are so unbearable and it isn't worth the safety risk to even step outside their four walls. That isn't my child! If he has decided he wants to see Santa today I can let him know Santa is closed today, maybe we will go tomorrow. Typically I get a response of "No! Tomorrow is closed!" but that's about it. He will accept that there is no Santa today and mom is doing her best to keep his wants and needs met.
Maybe I'm lucky in that sense. For all the things that could be said about Arthur and his understanding, maybe I'm lucky to be able to see that he seems to understand that his dad and I are genuinely doing our best. He seems to understand and accepts that I do want him to have everything he wants and needs, but sometimes that isn't possible. Some days at 8:30 at night when we are laying down to go to bed, we really can't go see Santa right then. But, maybe if you are lucky and lay your head down and try to get some rest, maybe daddy will be sweet enough to put on the red hat and put powder in his beard and sneak into your room and give you a "Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas" and Arthur will smile and laugh at daddy and maybe that will be good enough for today.
So my life isn't perfect and my children aren't perfect. But actually my life is completely perfect, because it's exactly as God designed it. I have these beautiful flawed kids, living with two crazy flawed parents, who love each other completely and love God fully. I have this dumb little difficult perfect life that God wove together, warned me about, and then blessed me with.