Sunday, June 26, 2016

Your Normal Has Never Been Mine---

When my son first came into my life, I knew, in my heart, that we probably weren't going to have normal. Someone will say, 'How could you know?'

Well, it's pretty simple. I've never had normal. And, as much as I *LONG* to give my child the most normal life possible, I just knew that we were probably going to have a huge uphill battle.

I don't think I realized, back then, just what kind of battle I really was going to have.

Now, let me say before I even get into this---I am so, so very grateful that my son can walk, can think for himself, can learn things, and by gosh, this kid is SMART. I'm grateful for all of that, because we all know it could be worse.

My journey with my son started about a year ago. We began testing for hearing, and at that time, I was very rudely told that my son needed to be talking, and something was wrong. Maybe it was what I needed to hear, because from there, we started with Early Intervention. They've been coming since November, and they have truly opened up the floodgates. If you have ANY concerns about your child, please, please get them into EI. There is no financial requirement. It's a free service through the state. You can make tons of money, or no money. Just please call. 

I took him for his two year checkup to his local doctor here. She walked into the room, and immediately said ''He's a normal two year old, you're just going through the terrible twos.'' Then, ten minutes later ''This child needs to be EXAMINED. You need to have him looked at ASAP. ''

If you think I didn't walk out of that office crying, you're crazy. And if you think I'm ever going back?? Not even for emergency care. I'll drive an hour, or go to the emergency room. 

At that point, I'd already had him set up to be examined at the Development Center in Mobile. That day, we scheduled at noon, thinking that by the time we got there, he would be ready to play. And, for the most part he was. Until she started sticking things in his face. Then, just like last time, he freaked out, started screaming, and started ''flatlining'' as I call it. He lays on the floor and just goes limp. While he's screaming his little head off. 

So, I'm sure that didn't go well. We were supposed to come back in a month for the Autism test, and we did. He basically acted like he does around new people--throwing things, not really interested in anything, except her bubbles when she started blowing them. I, once again, had to carry a screaming child out of that office. 

I'm telling you all this to tell you that I NEVER go to a doctors' appointment (even mine) with him without a freak out. I am not sure if it's what is going on with him (autism, etc) or if it's just that we have hours long appointments. Maybe, hopefully, all this changes later. 

My normal is this. Freak-outs at every doctor appointment, freak-outs in the grocery store, freak-outs almost anywhere. They're my normal, but they're not normal for this society. I cannot tell you how many times I get ''the look''--moms, y'all know what I'm talking about---''You can't contain your CHILD??' What is WRONG with you??'' 

Someone posted a post the other day that referred to first time moms suddenly becoming experts. Well, let me tell you, I AM an expert with my child. And, for the most part, I can control with him, but there are times, I just cannot. Nothing I do, you do, or God coming down from above, is going to change anything.

As I type this, I can hear banging sounds coming from his bedroom. He ''rocks'' on his couch. The couch I'm about to throw away. This is another form of stimulation for him, I'm not sure what or why, but you know what? It's ok. If that's what makes my child feel better about his environment, go for it, son. I hate I've got to pitch the couch, but springs are coming out of the back and he's destroyed my window casings and other furniture. 

My son is, and will always be different. I think I knew this way before I had kids, that my children would be different. Now, I don't want him to be a robot, or a cookie cutter, but my biggest fear for my child is that he isn't going to have a normal childhood/teenage years/adulthood. That he won't get to go on playdates, that he won't get to go on field trips, that he won't get to go to dances, proms, etc. That he won't get to date. That he won't get married or have kids. These are the fears I have at night, even in the daylight hours. But mostly, when he's sleeping and the house is quiet. 

I wrote all of this to tell you, as you're reading it, first and foremost if your child is 'behind', please get Early Intervention involved, at the very least. Please, please DO NOT WAIT.  My doctor didn't recommend this, I did it without her recommendation. 

I also wrote this to tell you that I sometimes long for your normal. For your child who goes to sleep in their own bed, who pottys on the potty. The child who colors normally, without throwing them, eating them, or rolling them. The child who plays quietly, or nicely. The one who likes other children. The kid who eats with a fork. Your child who gives hugs when asked. The child who, isn't constantly screaming for something 24/7 because they're non-verbal. The child who doesn't constantly throw things. 

Yes, I'm grateful for my beautiful, baby boy. But somedays---oh, there are days, that I just want normal. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gators in Disney

I've had this tiny, tiny little boy on my mind all week. Lane Graves, the little two year old who was killed by a gator in Disney.

Mostly, the reason that I've had him on my mind is because I keep reading all these blame posts on my feed. WHY are we doing this?? Why are we BLAMING parents?? Parents *just* like us, who are doing the absolute best they can at that very moment.

Let me ask you this---and do NOT say ''It wouldn't be me'' because, let me tell you Pot, it could be----What if that were YOUR child?? What if you were the one who had to go back to your hotel room at the happiest place on earth (which just became hell on earth for these parents) pack your TWO YEAR OLDS balls, Elmo dolls, tiny pajamas, favorite book and sippy cups, and board a plane to Nebraska, an empty seat beside you where your child is supposed to be. Then, you get to your car, drive home, open the door, and are overwhelmed with toys everywhere, reminders of this child, this tiny being, who was JUST with you two days ago. 

And then, oh, it gets so much better folks. Just hang in. You then turn your computer or phone on. You make that GRAVE mistake. You find that the whole Facebook Judge and Jury are blaming YOU---YOU, the parents for this horrible, tragic, AWFUL accident. You not only lost your tiny child, but you come home to an empty house and blame from around the country. 

Even though this is and was simply and accident. A family on the 'beach' at Disney for a movie night. A dad and son walking in the 'waves'. A gator, feeding, came up out of the water and grabbed the son. All in a split second. And, he's gone. GONE. Never, ever to be held, seen, or for you to give hugs again. 

From the second I saw this story, I posted and stated that it was a simple accident and that this family needed prayers. And then, my feed was swarmed with blame posts. My mouth literally fell open. I just cannot believe we've become this kind of society.

People, put yourselves in these parents shoes. DO NOT say ''It wouldn't have happened to me'' God only knows that, you DO NOT. I don't care how great of a parent you are, or how many kids you've got----accidents happen. No parent is perfect. Let's all step off our high horses and pray, pray, pray for this family.