Wednesday, October 7, 2009
10 things I could have never, ever imagined about having a kid with special needs
10. First off: I never imagined I would have a kid with special needs. I wasn't one of those overly concerned pregnant women. I always assumed (how could I have been so presumptuous?) that my baby would be born like any other healthy baby.
9. I never imagined I could be a strong as I am. I mean, I was never a pansy. But I have been determined, durable and Energizer-bunny-like beyond anything I thought possible.
8. I never imagined the grief over having a kid with special needs would subside—especially during the early years, when everything was so ominous and scary and terrifying. But the grief has subsided. Or, rather, it has retreated to a place where it doesn't rear its head all that often.
7. I never imagined that my child would be doing as well as he is. When doctors say that your baby may never walk or talk and could have severe cognitive deficits, it is hard to wipe their words from your psyche and soul, even as you do everything possible within your powers to make your child succeed, cheer him on and hope, hope, hope.
6. I never imagined what an incredible father my husband would turn out to be. You always figure the man you love would make a great dad, more or less. But he is the most hands-on, hardworking, caring, concerned, hug-giving father of any dad I know.
5. I never imagined the incredible help and support I would get—from family, friends, teachers, therapists, doctors, the insurance company (well, on occasion) and other parents of kids with special needs. Especially all of you. It's easy to feel alone when you have a kid with special needs.
4. I never imagined how absolutely wanted a child with special needs could be. Is that terrible to say? Until you have a child with special needs, it's easy to look upon them as a burden. I used to pity the moms at the mall or in the park who had a kid with disabilities. Now I'm that mom. And I am so not someone to pity. Neither is my son.
3. I never imagined the fun I could have with a child with special needs. Every-kid fun, like playing baseball, going to amusement parks, crashing toy trucks, rocking out to kiddie tunes, pretending to be a scary monster, giggling over total silliness.
2. I never imagined the ebullience you experience when your child with special needs does something for the first time.
1. I never imagined I'd look at my child with special needs and not see the special needs. But today, I look at my child and all I see is an amazing kid.