And yet, much of his future remained unknown. We had no idea if he'd ever learn to read or write or how he'd do in school. (Yes, yes and GREAT.) We certainly couldn't have imagined that at age 8, he'd be riding an adaptive bike. Or that eventually we'd be able to have full conversations with him. Or that he'd overcome his sensory issues and be psyched about going to movies, shows and restaurants. Or that he'd be able to drink out of a cup, navigate TV stations and be content to chill on his own. Or any of the little-yet-not-so-little cognitive gains he's made, like the fact that he gets sarcasm, knows exactly how to tease his siblings and is totally responsible about doing his homework. Or that one day, he'd be the best big brother.
That's one of the biggest challenges of having a little one with special needs: not knowing what your child will be able to do and feeling consumed with anxiety. Our children are on their own timelines, of course—that's something we learn to accept in our own development as parents. We also find ways to make peace with the fact that our children may not do some things, and that is OK.
I started this blog to process thoughts and feelings about being a special needs mom, to celebrate Max's wins (and cuteness!) and to share feedback on the challenges we all face. I wanted to help other parents going through a hard time, like I did after Max's birth, and make us feel less alone. And I was determined to show people Max's abilities and help stop the pity party for kids with disabilities. Along the way, I've spoken out against people who disrespect our children, fail to include them or otherwise dis them in the hopes of raising awareness and changing perceptions.
As I write this, I'm feeling so grateful for all the good people I've connected with, including parents and adults with disabilities who've given me invaluable insights, guidance and perspective. Thank you for being a part of our journey. I'll be around for the indefinite future, unless Max decides he wants to take over. You never know.