Monday, October 27, 2008

Nicole the Special Needs Mom

Yesterday I was driving around in my car and as I turned a corner, Jaden's wheelchair clinked a little bit and it dawned on me "I have a special needs child".

Oh, he's 11. I've had plenty of time for it to sink in and all. But, sometimes it's like I forget. I mean I know that every day, he gets out of bed and I get him breakfast, because unlike the other 11 year olds in my house, he can't reach the cereal and milk. And, I know that every day he gets himself a diaper as part of his getting dressed and everyday I put him in his braces so that he can spend some time walking. And, I know that every school day we wait for a different bus that the other kids get on because the other one deosn't have a wheelchair lift. And, I know that everytime we go somewhere I have to be concerened about the accessibility of that place and I know that everywhere we go people stare or avert their gaze in a "whatever you do don't look" sort of way. And, I know that we seem to spend a lot of time in the hospital and at Drs. appointments. But, sometimes I forget that not everyone is doing the same things we do. And, sometimes, like when the wheelchair clinks in the back of my van, I am reminded that we are different. That not all families have to live through hospitalizations and fighting insurance companies and waiting for medical equipment companies just to return your calls. And, every now and again, sometimes, that realization sucks.

It's funny to me that sometimes I forget I am a special needs mom, that sometimes, most of the time, I just think of myself as a mom who gets out of bed every day and tries to do what is best for her family. I don't know if that is progress or denial. Some special needs mom wear it like a badge of honor...and really they should. It's not always easy. In fact, it really never is. I guess I just enjoy the times when I forget. If only I had been taking that turn a little slower... :)

8 comments:

cjsayers77 said...

I just found your blog through ICLW and I have to say your post is wonderful! I think it shows how dedicated you are and what a wonderful mom you are if you sometimes "forget".

Best wishes!

Mary said...

I think you're pretty awesome. Not every woman can mother a special needs kid and just think of him as her kid first, and special needs second, or even third or fourth. I applaud you.

(ICLW)

Ginny said...

Here from ICLW. This is such a great post, I love that you don't always think about it. That is the way it should be, good for you! Take care :)

AmyinMotown said...

This is really good, Nik. While you're the only special needs parent I know in real life, there are a few on the Derby and so on and I'm always struck by how most of the time the sacrifices and struggles are just Life to them.

Interesting that you notice the "stare or whatever you do don't look" looks -- sometime, with allll your free time :-), I'd love to have you write more about how you'd like strangers to react to Jaden (even if that's "not at all"). I'm sure you have some tales of heinousness. Maggie's at the age where she's going to be noticing that some people have disabilities and asking questions soon, too, and I'd like to make sure I am answering her questions in a way that respects the person's right to privacy as well as her curiosity.

Laura said...

Here from ICLW! You sound like a wonderful mother!

tripdad said...

I always know what "How's your son doing?" means, but occasionally I ask, "Which one?"

Momofgirls said...

LOVED that post! I have 3 girls..the 11 year old had a virus attack her heart causing it to fail (she was 8 mo old)Leaving her with a brain injury. She is visually impaired among other things...she just this year is potty trained..WooHoo!

My 16 year old and my 9 year old BOTH say they want to be special ed teachers. They both say that they wouldn't change Lindsay back to "normal" ......WE are truly the fortunate ones to have these precious children who will always need us! It is nice to know we are not in it alone..great post!

Anonymous said...

What a great blog -- definitely publishable, Nik! I still chuckle at the time I was driving the kids to see Rob in the hospital and was struggling to find a parking place in the lot. After awhile I said "Hey, I forgot, we have a reason to park in a handicapped spot!" Jaden roared with laughter and I joined him. Good times. Love, Maki