I’ve been toying with the idea of reflection. Reflecting on how life has changed and how we are handling it.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
I’m learning about advocating and proactively confronting social issues. Teaching Everett how to properly engage and play with others, as well as teaching them how to play with him.
I’m experiencing the joys in unexpected milestones. Everett drawing actual objects and people. His vocabulary catching up with his imagination. Him not hitting someone all day. When he walks the whole way across a balance beam without falling. Milestones most parents don’t think about.
I’m trying to learn when to push Everett and when to let things happen on their own time. He’s at such a defiant age that I feel like I prepare for some unknown battle every day. It’s exhausting. I’m trying to learn when to actually pick the battles that are most important. “Fine you won’t get dressed? You can go to the store in your breakfast covered pjs while you rock 1 flip flop and 1 rain boot. Screw it”
I’m also relearning about self care. Taking time with friends who AREN’T parents. Starting a photography business. I’m trying to remember that a healthy family needs a sane mother. Similar to the whole airplane spiel about “putting on your oxygen mask before helping others.”
Last, but not least, I’m learning to not underestimate Everett. Parents of special needs kids often think our children can’t go on without us. We’re obsessed with looking at the future and worrying about it. We know they’re going to have to function without us one day, but we worry that they can’t. We see them struggling with potty training well after their peers, we see them sitting away from the other kids at the playground, unsure of how to interact, and so on.
However, we also see their sweet tenderness and desire to learn. We see their joy and fascination at things we often don’t notice. And given the opportunity, we see them doing things we didn’t ever expect they could do without help.
Being a parent of a super special kiddo is hard, but after some reflection, it’s actually kind of beautiful too.