The Rollercoaster Ride

ice cream

When I talk about Wil, I typically have a smile on my face. That little guy brings so much joy into my life and many others’ lives.

I have no problem expressing this joy, so many people may not realize the extra time and energy that is involved in raising Wil, who is 6 years old, and has Down syndrome. This is true for most parents of kids with special needs…its simply a fact of our lives.

Wil wears orthodics, so putting on his shoes takes extra time when we want to go somewhere.  If I ask him to do something, and he doesn’t understand what I’m asking him, I will do it with him via hand-over-hand.

There is also consideration of where we are going. Wil has a difficult time with loud, sudden noises. So, if the dog barks or there is some other type of loud, unexpected noise, he will cry and of course, I will stop what I’m doing to soothe him.

We were at basketball game, and he had a really hard time with all the loud cheering. So I carried all 50lbs of him up to the top of the stands where the noise wasn’t so loud,  so he could still enjoy the game. We no longer attend parades because the sirens and horns upset him so much.

Those are the day-to-day things. There is also working on his fine motor, large motor, speech and reading skills.

I’m so used to this routine, and raising Wil is so rewarding, I often don’t realize how much energy it takes.

Then, I’ll go to a birthday party with Wil’s twin sisters, Katherine and Elizabeth, while Wil stays home with his dad.  How easy it is! I have time to answer the girls’ questions right when they ask them. I actually have time to sit down, relax and talk to other parents.

These reminders are so good for me. I realize how much more I appreciate the things that come easy in life, and appreciate the great rewards when things are hard earned. That is a beautiful life lesson my kids have taught me.

The purpose of this post is two-fold:

1. To give those of you who don’t have kids with special needs an understanding that not much comes easy for our kids. A lot of effort goes into every forward moving step our kids make, and the best gift you can give to us parents is to rejoice in their successes with us. (And when you celebrate with someone else, it always leaves you feeling better yourself 🙂 )

2. For parents of kids with special needs to read this and feel a kind of comfort that you are not alone on this rollercoaster ride. I know how hard it can be chugging slowly up that hill when it seems our kids will just never get it. But, we also share that joyful rush when they do!

Thanks for reading! All my best to you!

Christie

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