I love this article. It really speaks to how isolating parenting can be. I’m constantly wondering why parents can’t be more honest– why mothers especially can’t just be more open about what they are going through and how hard this is. If we all just helped each other instead of trying to better than one another life might be a bit easier on all of us.
Today was the big preschool soccer game. I had high hopes. Max has been talking about soccer all summer even practicing the drills sometimes. I should have known better but I really thought this would be the time Max would participate. I had visions of him running freely up and down the field with a big smile on his face. I was excited; Ian left work early to be there. This is what we dreamed of before having kids and even more so after having boys. Afternoons at the soccer field! This was going to be great.
Well, I didn’t have it exactly correct. The only time he was even out on the field he was on the opposite side of the action and it was because one of his little buddies held his hand and dragged him out there.
Like most organized activities, I left feeling sad. I wonder when I will accept Max’s delays; when I will stop mourning the loss of his “normal” life. There were plenty of other kids that were not participating, they were crying even, but I didn’t take comfort in that. I just wanted to shout out to everyone, “Wait, you don’t understand. He has special needs. He has delays. You should feel bad for him!” I know that someday I will come to terms. I’ll stop comparing him to every other kid and relish in his accomplishments rather than focus on his delays. I’m just not there yet and days like today take my breath away.
Check out my back to school shopping haul over on Mom to Mom.
Sometimes I’m afraid that his parents and brother are the only friends Max will have. I know it’s awful but I have visions of him being the kid in school that is considered weird because he never stops talking or asking questions. Because he can’t ride a bike or run or play baseball like everyone else. Even now, in preschool, it’s clear there are kids who just don’t want to sit next to him or play with him and it breaks my heart. My question to other moms who have kids with special needs…how do your kids make friends? And along the same line, how do YOU as a mom make friends?
I’ve yet to find my space in life where I fit in. In high school I never felt smart enough or athletic enough. Granted I made a few good friends through the one dorky activity I was involved in and loved (band!), in fact I married one of them. In college and my early twenties I didn’t party enough. And now, I’m a mom and I still can’t find the right group. When Max was a baby I didn’t fit in the mom’s groups because I wasn’t breastfeeding and was planning to go back to work. Then he started having seizures and had vision issues and my best friends became Max’s therapists. I felt completely isolated. We have managed to become friendly with some families through Ben’s child care experience, but they usually have one child and don’t quite “get” the two kid family dynamic (especially with one child so demanding of time and attention). I know I have a lot to overcome and probably put out the “oh, you don’t really want to be friends with me anyway” vibe . I’m working on it, I really am. I’m tired of being lonely. But for right now, even though I desperately long for a break, Max and I are attached at the hip. Two misfits who at least have each other.
It’s a hard thing to manage when your child falls all the time. It might not seem like a big deal, but it becomes frustrating; annoying even. Last night, Max fell three or four times in the span of a half hour or so. He fell and hit his head on the wall, then he rolled off his bed backwards and head first. Then, he was so worked up from that, that after peeing on the bathroom floor instead of in the toilet, he fell off the bench he was sitting on waiting for us to clean up the pee. Oy.
He falls in parking lots, in stores, at home, anywhere and everywhere. Most of the time Ian and I don’t react much (because it happens all the time) which is unnerving for others. Just this weekend, when in line at Whole Food, Max tripped over the wheels of the cart. I helped him get up without saying much about it, but the woman next to us whooped and hollered, asking him if he was ok over and over. When we are at a party and it happens, we just explain to the people around us that it happens so much we don’t make much of a big deal about it (hoping they will do the same).
I know it seems like a small thing, but sometimes all of the small things throughout the day really add up.