Our lives are built around expectations. We expect a certain outcome for a certain event, and damn, can our lives spin wildly out of control when that expectation isn’t met. We expect to fall in love with the perfect person for us. We expect them to know all of the things, like how to do laundry the way you want it done, or how you like the kitchen cleaned after dinner. This is silly, of course, because why would they know these things unless we tell them?
My point is, that we all have expectations about life, and we’re all pretty disappointed when they aren’t met. I had great expectations for my children. I was lucky to have a boy and a girl. I expected parenting to be difficult, but what I didn’t expect was to have a unique child that doesn’t fit the mold. A child that has needs that I haven’t been able to meet because until recently, we just weren’t sure what was going on. My husband and I discussed things and had our son evaluated for sensory processing struggles.
At just 3.5, it was a hard decision to come to, because he’s still young. The behaviors are typical, his egocentric mindset is typical, the tantrums and meltdown are typical, all of it is typical. Listening to your intuition is the most important thing that you can do as a parent. My husband and I knew. We have an appointment on Thursday to discuss the evaluation with the OT. The struggles are there, she saw them first hand. We’re not imagining it. We feel validated, finally.
I love my son unconditionally. He’s amazing in many ways, and difficult in many others. I don’t want him to spend his life struggling. I want him to enjoy being alive, and not feel stuck in a body that has betrayed him. I want to learn how to help him, so he can learn how to help himself. I don’t want this affecting his self-esteem, though I know it will. I want him to be proud of who he is. I can already tell he’s going to be a wonderful person.
I don’t have a child who will sit on my lap at the libraryduring story time. In fact, I have to give him snacks or he will be all over the room. I don’t have a child who can transition from an one activity to another without a nuclear explosion going off in his head, and pouring out of him. I don’t have a child that has been easy to potty train, and I’m pretty sure that it can be linked to sensory stuff. I don’t have a child that has easy bed times because he can’t control his body and impulses. I don’t have a child that wants to sit and do activities for more than 5 minutes at a time, unless they involve sensory input that he craves. I don’t have a child that likes to brush his teeth, trim his fingernails, floss his teeth or get his hair cut, but he’s able to cope most of the time. I don’t have a child that is able to ask for help easily, and instead tries to do something off-limits or screams/whines for help before we can even register what is happening. With time, I’m confident OT and at-home snesory diet will help with these issues.
I do have a child whose smile lights up a room, and a laugh that breaths life into me. I do have a child that amazes me with the knowledge he picks up on a daily basis, who is inquisitive, creative and imaginative. I do have a child that loves his baby sister, even though we have to make sure he doesn’t hurt her when seeking sensory input. I do have a child that loves to talk unless he’s sleeping (and thank the lawd he doesn’t talk then!), and while that can be quite difficult for this introverted mama, he has the most interesting, sometimes nonsense but always creative, stories. I do have a child that gives hugs, kisses and ugga muggas most nights, and sits in our laps for story time at bed time. I do have a child that loves to play games, make art, read books, and listen to music, which are all things this mama loves, too. I do have a child with a beautiful heart that is trying to shine behind the clouds of his struggles.
I didn’t expect the child that I have, but I do expect to be the best mama for him.