13 hours ago
Monday, January 5, 2009
Monday Morning Confessional: Ever wonder about the "normal" version of your child?
Max's smile, along with his cerebral palsy, are both part of his personality.
I've been on an inexplicable organizing frenzy since we got home from vacation. I've gathered bags of clothes for the Salvation Army, put the kids toys' in some semblance of order, plowed through piles of paper. One of the things I unearthed was a therapy schedule I'd written out when Max was two. He had at least two sessions every weekday, plus hippotherapy on Saturday mornings. Thursday was especially jam-packed: speech at 9 a.m., OT at 12:30, a teacher at 3:30, another OT at 4:30 and PT (the therapist did the MEDEK method) at 7:15.
The schedule got me thinking about all that Max has been through in his six years, and all that Dave and I have been through. I've heard other parents of special-needs kids say they wouldn't trade their child for the world. I used to think they were deluded, but now I get it. Max's unique way of expressing himself—with animated sounds and the occasional word—is part of his personality, as is the cute way he hobbles when he walks, the determined way he manipulates his hands to get them to do what he wants, the expressiveness of his eyes, even the drool. Still, I sometimes wonder what Max would have been like if he'd been a typically-developing kid, how our family life would have been different. Do you sometimes think about those things, too?