Thursday, April 30, 2009
Lollipop longings (and other lessons about raising a kid with special needs)
Hey, all. I am doing OK. What a week.
Here's Sabrina in a giant candy store I took her to over the weekend. She sweet-talked the staffers into letting her try lots of samples, then brought home this sucker.
I kept looking for stuff for Max to try. Caramels? Nope, he can't chew them. Sour candies? No, serious choking hazard. In the end, I brought him home a simple chocolate bar, feeling a little bummed about all the stuff he couldn't have. It's why I got so excited the other month when he liked Peeps.
Sometimes, I mourn the childhood things I enjoyed that Max can't yet. Things like seeing a movie in a theater (it's sensory overload for him). Or riding a scooter, one thing every kid in my neighborhood seems to own. Or swimming. Or pogo-sticking.
When I catch myself thinking this way, I force myself to realize that—once again—I am projecting my idea of happiness onto Max. Because Max is perfectly content doing the things he can do. He doesn't know he's missing out on Twix bars; all he knows is how much he adores chocolate ice-cream. He may not have experienced the joys of watching a movie on a big screen but, hell, he loves watching things on his little portable DVD. He rides his adaptive tricycle pretty well, and has a blast on it. He walks around the kiddie pool pushing a float, and he is in heaven.
These are the things I have to remind myself of when it comes to bringing up Max—the cans instead of the cannots, the haves instead of the have-nots.
I guess they're words to live by, no matter how old you are.