Monday, December 2, 2019

Who Would You Be

This time of year is hard on everyone.

But for the mothers of special needs children (in my case with neuro-typical developmental delays) it's so much harder.

Children with special needs struggle. The change in the household with the decorations, shopping in large crowds, the extra noise, the long days at special family events, etc. Those things can cause major meltdowns, crying fits, stimming, and other non-typical behaviors.

David is 19 years old. Mentally he's roughly anywhere between 6-12 months old. His fine motor skills are somewhere in the 3-6 month level. He loves to chew on baseball hats. He loves brightly covered mirrors. He likes to chew on these really small golfing towels.

Nothing a typical 19 year old teenager would be doing.

I do sometimes find myself wondering what life would be like if David didn't have the TELO2 genetic mutations that he has. I wonder what it would be like to not have the vast knowledge of genetics. Of gastrointestinal complications. Of seizures. Of IEP's. Of wheelchairs and adaptive equipment. Of suction machines. Etc.

Would David be almost a semester into his second year of college? Aiming towards a degree in some awesome field?

Would he love to watch and play sports? Soccer? Baseball???

Would he have a favorite video game?

Would he have a girlfriend?

Would he pick on and fight with his little brother?

Good Lord. I HOPE he'd be potty trained.


I used to plead with God to make him typical. To help him "outgrow" whatever it was that was impeding him in life. I wanted him to change SO badly. I didn't have the strength at 21 to know that this little boy was going to change my life.

David is definitely my best friend. When you spend so much time with an individual and constantly have them in your personal space.......you become soul mates. I know that sounds odd. But I bet a  million of my virtual special needs mamas would completely understand what I'm talking about.



I pray. Nightly. And 99% of the time I truly do thank God that he didn't listen to my prayers 17, 18, or 19 years ago. There is that 1% of the time that I question my ability to have patience with this kind of lifestyle. I question why me????

But I truly know that if David was going to college, dating, or anything else listed above.....he wouldn't be my son. He would be a stranger to me. David is David. There is no other person who is able to be my best friend.

And David makes me who I am. I'd be a completely different kind of mother had he not made such an impact on me. He's changed my heart in almost 20 years.



He is truly amazing. Both my boys are. And I am very grateful for them.

You don't "heal" special needs. You nurture them and make the best out of even the worst of times.












































Monday, October 21, 2019

Seasons





I am lucky (most of the time) to live in an area with 4 seasons. Our summers our hot and sunny, our springs our cool/warm and rainy, our falls are way too short and perfectly crisp, and our winters can be frigid and snowy and way too long.

Our lives are full of seasons. And people are placed in our lives for the long and hard winters or the short and sweet summer times. And then we have some seasonal friends that come and go like the fall and spring.

I look back over my seasons in photos and I can remember the people who made that season. Whether it be hard or easy. Whether it be simple and sweet or complicated and frustrating.





I look back at the first picture right after becoming a mom of 2. I remember the doctors involved in Kyle's delivery, the nurses, the visits, the long nights of having 2 babies who didn't sleep. I remember the people who brought us meals. 

I look back to the next pictures. I figured it out a little bit. I juggled 2 kids.One toddler and one mentally challenged. The year Kyle started preschool was the year that I began to see a change in my seasons yet again. I started to make some "mom friends". I became close with a few. Those have been my winter long friends. I became acquainted with more than I became close with. Those people helped shape me as well. 






I'll be honest. The next years became huge season changers. The teachers in our lives are mostly still involved in some way, be it just facebook or on a more personal level. Not only did they help shape my children, they helped shape me as their mom. The mom in those pictures was a mom with such a soft heart and couldn't stand to watch her kids struggle. She lacked confidence to push for what her kids needed and lacked confidence in herself. 






Seasonal friendships have come and gone in my life. Same for David and Kyle. But luckily we've all been a constant for each other. We are so fortunate to have family be our other constant. And those special people who aren't family.....you know who you are and you know how much it means that you've chosen over and over to be a part of our lives. 






For the ones who have stuck through some of my hard seasons and have moved on, I appreciate you too. You served a purpose and you will always have a place in my heart. The ones who let me cry on them when we were going through diagnosis's for David AND Kyle. Those are the hardest times in a mother's life. And you were part of that season. 






As my seasons have changed, so have I. So have the boys. We are stronger, yet still weak. Becoming more confident in our changes and who we are. We still struggle. Self confidence and self love is one of the most difficult things to conquer and I am far from there. 







I can see the changes throughout these photos and the change might be minimal to you. But to me....it's pretty astronomical. I want to continue to get stronger. To be more confident. To instill morals in Kyle. To love David hard and fierce. To be myself and to love who I'm becoming. And still be humble enough to know that there will always be room for me to grow and change. 






To those who have made my seasons hard......I saw you. I appreciate you for showing me who I don't want to be for my kids. I thank you for being part of my life and making my strength grow. I wish you nothing but luck and well wishes, but there is a reason that God only placed you in my life for a short time. Life is hard and I had to lose you to be able to move through the hard to the other side. And if I've ever made your season hard, I apologize. Sincerely. But I hope you grew through the hard as well. Life is short. Be with the people who love you. 


Find your favorite season and stick with them. They are your tribe. They are your people. They are going to change and grow through seasons with you. 


"Appreciate where you are in your journey, even if it's not where you want to be. Every season serves a purpose."







Thursday, October 3, 2019

Navigation

Tonight I just had an urge to write. Not about anything specific. But just life and an update. I found some quotes on Pinterest that really stood out to me, so I thought I would kind of address a few of them individually and relate them to my current life.



It is ok. I am far from ok all of the time. This is really really hard. No one expects to go through a divorce. Everyone seems to think there is a protocol of how someone should act or live or laugh or date or not date or parent or cry or lose her mind. There isn't. You go through ALL of the emotions. I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I'm happy, you'll know it. If I'm sad, you'll know it (although I will go to greater lengths to disguise this emotion.....but I'm terrible at it.) The one thing I know for sure is that I am not going to fail. I might fall. But I will not fail my kids.



I STRUGGLE with this. Immensely. I think we all do. We are all our own worst critics. I AM enough. You ARE enough. Yet we try all the time to be more. Smaller, smarter, funnier, a better mom, a better friend, a better human. We CANNOT do it all. We can strive to be good. And being good doesn't always mean better. It means you are enough. Society can try to tell you something different.  But I promise you are enough. We are enough. 






Healing is a forever process. You heal from one hurt and usually gain some type of other hurt....physical or mental. Healing is tough. There are only so many bandaids a heart can be mended with. Time does help. Family does help. Friends do help. If you fall down, stand back up. Learn from that fall and move on. Slowly pull off the bandaids and start to think you can be loved again and willing to love. A heart is always capable of love. Take that broken heart, super glue it together and do good things with love. 




I do break down and cry. Not daily. But weekly(ish). I'm overwhelmed. I'm exhausted. I'm fighting a teenager doesn't seem to be affected that our life has drastically changed. And I'm fighting a teenager who immensely feels the changes that we are facing. And struggling with those changes. These 2 teens ARE my reason. My purpose. And my joy. They keep me going. If there is one thing that makes me get out of bed in the morning, it's my kids. David's smile automatically makes me smile and Kyle's dry sarcasm usually gives me a laugh. They make me strong. 


All in all.....we're doing ok. We wake up, do human things, and go to sleep. We love, we fight, we conquer. Together. 




Sunday, August 11, 2019

Dear Moms....I See You

Summer has come and basically gone. Like every year it was too fast. 

Raise your hand if you got everything on your bucket lists checked off......yea....me either. 

Mommin is HARD. I'm talking we jumped into this olympic sized event with no training. We squeezed out these adorable, tiny, squishy little humans and thought it might be easy. 

We were so incredibly wrong.



I don't care if your squishy human turned into a typically developing or a non-typically developing bigger human. The journey was still hard and we are all lucky we're not drowning along the way. 

I see you. I see behind your smiling facebook snapshots. I see your tired. I see your angry. I see your love. And I see your sacrifice. 

I'm also here to tell you that it's completely ok to feel like you could strangle your eye-rolling teenager, or to feel like crying when your adult disable child poops out of his diaper. Or your dog chewed up the cord to a brand new gaming mouse and you need to take a time out and just scream in frustration.


Believe me when I say I speak from experience in all of the above "hypothetical" situations. 

And yet.....I keep going. I keep talking (or yelling) and the eye rolling teenager. I go clean up poopy carpets (sometimes I'm crying while doing this), and I still feed the dog who just got his fill of gaming mouse cord. 

And you.....YOU keep on GOING. Every day. Every night. We make sure the little people in our lives are taken care of. 

I don't give a flying rat's booty if you're the mom that gets school supplies 2 months in advance, 2 days before school......or 3 days after the first day of school. Guess what? You'll get it done. 

I STILL don't have school supplies bought yet by the way. I'm actually fairly certain both my children's backpacks look pretty much the same way they looked the last day of school. 



Despite what I had in mind for the summer that might not have happened, I still loved my kids. We survived some tough days. And we had awesome days.

We made memories. 

And, my dear mama friends..........so did you. Your kids were loved whether or not you took a vacation, went swimming, or sat in front of a television or a gaming device just so you could have 10 minutes to yourself to breathe. 


Honestly? You all deserve a huge hug and a pat on the back. I know you all beat yourself up for things that are beyond your control. Or making a promise that you didn't keep even if it was within your control.

I know you won't pat yourself on the back. I know it because I wouldn't do it. I just think of motherhood as something that I have the privilege to be able to do and I don't want to feel selfish in telling myself that I'm doing a good job. 

But believe me. If you're reading this. YOU are doing an AMAZING job. Your little people love you. They adore you. They might not know to give you a rewarding hug. So.....go hug THEM. It's worth it. 


Keep smiling ladies. Behind tired eyes, screaming toddlers, door-slamming teenagers, and adult children you'd love to guide a different direction. Keep smiling. 




(PS....it's ok to scream before you smile sometimes too. I promise.)





Monday, July 15, 2019

Know Your Cool Factor

The other day we were in the van.

The song "Cool" by the Jonas Brothers came on. And Kyle was very quick to point out that he thought it made them seem conceited. 

And the more I thought about it, the more I thought maybe it should be a motto in our lives. It's probably not as much about conceit as it is about confidence. Maybe we should all be more confident in who we are. 


One thing my kids don't realize is that they're effing cool. And by "effing", of course I mean frickety frackety freaking cool. But you use whatever F word you want there :) 

It's a fact that there are only one of each of David and Kyle on this earth. No one else is them. 

Let's talk about David.








Yep. That kid.
He's 19. Lives at home with his mama. Will never leave her.  Wears diapers. Eats through a hole in his stomach. Gets carried EVERYWHERE he travels. Can't drive. I mean, on paper, he's actually kind of a bum. 

But. He's a smile-maker. A dream-catcher. A joy-bringer. He's talented at what he can be talented at. He scoots. He's determined. He's frickety frackety handsome. He's love. And he's mine. 



If you've never taken a chance to get close to David. Do it. I promise you that you will not be sorry. 


And Kyle. 
Thirteen. Smartass. Lives with his mama. Struggles with anxiety and emotional overloads. Can't remember to brush his teeth. Stubborn as a mule. The list could go on. 



But. He's smart to his smartass-ness. Loves his mama. Through his struggles with anxiety and panic attacks, he absolutely wears his heart on his sleeve. He WILL brush his teeth when told to (Future wives....this means he has the ability to be trained). His stubbornness will leave you feeling mentally stronger than you've ever felt going up against that. Did I mention he's pretty freaking handsome too?



Kyle just needs a few people to take a chance on him. He's not looking for fame. He's looking to anonymously change the world. 

Let's talk about Natalie.



Yep. Her. 

She's a 40 year old, almost single mama of 2. She thinks she's overweight. Her hair is a mess. She questions every outfit that ever goes on her body. She's often sad because she thinks she's failing her kids and life. She has so much self-doubt about anyone ever loving her to infinity. 

But. She's a pretty good mom. She has owned up to her faults in her marriage. She knows she can improve her weight. Her hair abilities are questionable, but if she puts in a half ass effort, she knows it can look ok. She's sad sometimes.....but her kids make her happy. And having someone love her to infiinty? Maybe? One day? In the future?

She also knows that she has to start having self-worth for her kids to be able to see THEIR self worth. 

I hope they know their worth. I hope David knows that he's turned me into a brand new person. 
I hope Kyle knows that he's worth being someone's infinity on a scale of 1-10.

This is all brand new territory for all of us. And together we are going to find our worth and see how cool we really are.