12 hours ago
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Yet another "aha!" moment about raising a kid with disabilities
Riding the train home from work tonight, I bumped into a woman I know from my city. Her twins were born the same year Max was. I asked how they were doing.
"They're in first grade—it's so hard to believe!" she said.
It hit me then: This would have been Max's first year in elementary school, too. Incredibly enough, that hadn't even occurred to me when September rolled around. I was just excited for Max to go back to the school for kids with special needs that he's in, one that doesn't have grades, per se.
I didn't think "If Max hadn't had that stroke, he would have been in first grade now."
I did not compare him to typically-developing kids.
I did not mourn.
I just took Max's life as it is. And that's a momentous thing.
My mind long ago accepted that I have a child with special needs; I got Max into our state's Early Intervention program when he was a month old, and I've been paving the way for him ever since. It's taken my heart a much longer time to accept those special needs and to cherish Max for the child he is, not the child he could have been. But it's happening. It's really, really happening.