Hold the Wine, I Have to Explain Special Needs

Wine makes some weepy. Truly. It’s been proven….theorized, hypothesized, tested and proven. On said occasion, I started the evening out happy, without a care in the world. A cork popped at the challenge was presented. The hubs, it would seem, believes himself a vigilant man and informed me of his observations (i.e., theory). Following up, his hypothesis and test was this particular evening. Happy as I began, he believed by the end of the night I would be crying over nothing.

After two glasses (my official wine weeping limit), I was clearly emotional over something that is unmemorable to this day. Likely it was the unforeseen cancellation of my favorite show by which I concluded that the hubs was most certainly in a lured affair with the cable woman who apparently has enough clout to cancel some meaningless series that has everything to do with nothing. Yep. That weepy.

The hubs…apparently…was right.

Since then, the wine has been put off to the distance. Sure it’s an easy simple tension-tamer at the end of a stressful day / evening / life, but it is in fact full of sugar and my thighs need no help in their spread…not to mention that uncontrollable, nearly psychotic weeping ramblings won’t really help things.

But after a month of kids being sick, noses, rears, nebulizers, humidifiers and meds, I needed the tension tamed. I popped the cork (okay it was a twist top). One glass poured, two sips later, bedtime is upon us and I find myself answering this question:

Why are things so hard for J? What happened? Why is he like that?


Now, my O is a bright girl. I certainly have talked with her about this before, but never with such attention that she gave to the question in this given moment. She was intent in trying to understand whatever answer I gave her. I took a breath and gave her the maturity appropriate answer she was seeking.

It was a long talk, a good talk. She asked more questions, rephrased my words showing her understanding, asked for clarification, even informed me of what I already knew, “so it was your body’s fault his brain is hurt” (um…yep).

We continued our talk around compassion and strength. The strength that J has managing life to the highest level despite what’s been thrown on his plate. Managing his life to a level I certainly would not be able to measure up to should the roles be reversed.

Flowers in the nightWe talked about the compassion I hope others have for him. That I have for him. The compassion that I would hope another would afford me if my brain “got hurt.” I would hope that others would “see me,” treat me as a person and help me with whatever I needed help with while knowing there was much I could not control about myself.

They threatened to come. Silently. Simple in the tears that gathered within my eyes, finding puddles too large to contain themselves only there…finally making their way down my cheek. This subtle weep was controllable. After all, I’m talking to my daughter who needs not to see her mother cry.

And yet…and yet she does need to see the powerful emotions behind this discussion. To gain a glimpse of the enormity of the life our family holds, if only to understand to the level that she could. Then she said,

I would mom. I would take care of you. I will help you.

A few minutes later, as I quietly left her room, I found myself breathing a little lighter knowing that she understands just a little more. My only thoughts:

I love that girl!

I’m glad it was just two sips of wine!

Gina St. Aubin, Editor of Special HappensGina is the owner / editor, and lead author of Special Happens. She resides in Colorado where she is a wife and mother of 3. Gina is a member of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation, and she continually submits articles and opinion pieces through various online outlets such as 5 Minutes for Special Needs. You can read more about her here.

Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin is a former Victim’s Advocate who now advocates for those with intellectual and physical challenges. Her eldest son is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Electrical Status Epilepticus during Sleep / Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia) and Developmental Delays. In June, 2012, her son also underwent a successful hemispherectomy. Gina is the editor, author and owner of Special Happens, serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation, and resides in Colorado where she is a mother of 3, wife, blogger, writer and special needs advocate. You can reach Gina through various Special Happens connections on Facebook and Twitter, or email her directly.
Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin

8 Responses to Hold the Wine, I Have to Explain Special Needs

  1. Whoa! Regardless of sipping wine or not, that would have been an emotional conversation for anyone to have with their child. You showed your heart, without getting hysterical and that is what your daughter needed. She sounds really sweet and special!

    • Thanks Lori. It’s sometimes hard to balance what you don’t see coming out of left field at the end of a night when you’re worn down! But she seems to like to do that to me! Next time, I’ll have my catcher’s glove with me! LOL.

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