He asked if my other two children resented him. This teenager trying to understand. Do I think they resent him? The attention given, the care received, the considerations made. This was a teenager, less knowledgeable about the ways of the world, of censoring thoughts rather than allowing them to form into words. Not that this is his fault; he is a good kid. I don’t believe he feels this way, but the thought crossed his mind and the word entered his vocabulary when talking about J.
Other insinuations have been made by adults about our life. Things would be easier…? The realization that some may view our life, our son as an “entity” to be resented fills me with disappointment, despair and dread for how others not as close to him view him. Even some in our family that we once thought would be promising supports instead suggested we shut the door and walk away…
But how could one ever walk away from a child? Your child. An infant you brought into this word for better or for worse, for joy and pain, for moments of disappointment and praise. How could you walk away knowing that life isn’t perfect, that he wouldn’t be perfect (which is perfection), following in our image, our imperfections passed along? These little beings capturing our hearts, pieces of our souls.
You can’t walk away from your soul.
Do I wish we had more money? Of course. Do I wish we were able to experience some of the things families filled with neurotypical kiddos do? Certainly. Do I wish gatherings, friendships, education, self-care and independence came easier? You better believe it! Would it be better if my vocabulary didn’t contain so many obscure and rare medical terms, my address book not filled with specialists and therapists throughout our state and beyond? Yes! But…
Our children give us light. They challenge us, as all good children shall do…just in an unexpected way. They are our teachers, our guides, unveiling the world through eyes of pure innocence. Bringing out otherwise hidden demons in those once thought worthy of looking up to; allowing shine to break through in those who would be overlooked.
Our kiddos with needs so special spur us on to be their champions, teach us to hold on and to let go, inspire us, give us a new vocabulary, bring us friendships where we once thought there were none and expand a world that once seemed so small. The insignificant is significant, and what’s perceived as important is no longer worth the time.
Special children’s laughter warms, their sense of humor finds a way to peek through the barriers laid before them, their strength is unmistakable….un…mistakable. For J, he is the love of my life, one of my most important contributions to this world.
And this world would not feel as true to me if it weren’t for J. He has given me more than I can ever truly acknowledge, certainly more than I will ever understand.
Resentment doesn’t even make it into the equation.
You can read “Misunderstood – The Parent of a Child with Special Needs (Part I) here.