I am SO thrilled and honored to be hosting one of my favorite bloggers of all time, The Empress who blogs at Good Day, Regular People (find her on Twitter at @GDRPempress). I've written about her before, about how she wrote a post that changed my whole perspective about parenting (and then a few days later, I changed my mind. Whoops!) The Empress is awesome and funny and smart and classy (don't let her tell you otherwise) and I'm so happy she's writing for me today! YAY!!
"Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have just one child, and just one theory: love them. Love them, especially when they are at their most unlovable."-- Kate Samperi
I began writing this post for jillsmo, and I intended it to be a funny one. You know, poking fun at all the quirky things my quirky 14 yr old boy does.
Things we call "Einsteiny" in our home, like how he forgets to take off his socks and underwear when he gets in the shower. Or how he'll get into the wrong unlocked car after church. How he stood up in church for Father's Day when they asked all the dads to stand up.
He doesn't really listen all the way. We asked him to please not stand up at the Fourth of July service, when they called upon the veterans.
Some very quirky things, like how he won't eat red food, or eat things that have no texture.
How he won't wear jeans because they're stiff, and how his socks have to be goldtoe* brand because they are the softest.
And the list goes on.
But, then, 3/4 of the way through the post, something inside me turned.
As much and as easy as it is to laugh about these things, if you stop and look at HOW many things you can list, you sort of feel like crying.
There's a lot.
The truth is, it's hard being a parent of a child who is Out of Sync.
A child who needs an industrial decibel strength headset before being able to sit for Fourth of July fireworks, because he can't take loud noise. A child that will take it upon himself to worry when the pot of pasta boils over. A child that won't wear a shirt with buttons.
The sort of things that will get to you are the thoughts of jealousy at how easy you think the other parents have it.
They just have typical things to deal with: all difficult in their own right, but we have those AND we have this, too.
We have the people that stare at a child who seems to not be able to make all his body parts move as fluidly as others his age. We have the people that stare at a child who appears much too old to still want to spend time doing things that others he knows have already outgrown.
The list is long. And, some days, you don't feel like laughing about it anymore.
What you do feel like doing, is throwing a pity party. You realize that your life is different from the majority out there. You realize you have a very special kid. One that leaves you ragged and jagged with all your nerves exposed and live wired some days.
You see your child, and wonder, "Am I the right person to be his mom?" You ask yourself, "Would he be doing better if it weren't me, as his parent?"
You do these things. You find yourself apologizing to him, mentally, for the out of patience, short tempered, screaming banshee of a mother he got.
Yes, you do that.
Because, how could the world be so unfair as to give a child who has a heart for every underdog in the world, a mother like you?
How could a child who can sit for hours playing with his much younger brother, with such love and nurturing, get a mother like you?
How could a child who has taught you the peacefulness of going outside to just sit, get a mother like you?
My child, who brought tears to my eyes when he took me by the hand at age three, and pulled me outside to stare at bugs with him, because "they're more beautiful than anything I could ever draw, mama."
My child, who is happy wearing one blue sock, one green sock; getting a petty, trivial, stuck on details, mother like me?
My child is more attune to what is important than I will ever be.
There are possible labels for my child: Sensory Processing Sensitivity, Profound Giftedness, Sensory Integration Disorder.
All these labels, for a child who took my breath away by pulling himself up to the train table in the playroom when he was 17 months old, and spelling his eight lettered name out with the alphabet cars on the train track. I have pictures.
Yes, he takes me to the edge of my emotions.
It's only right, since he's taken me to a level of living, and opened my eyes to a world, and to a me, that I never would have known without him.