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... :)