The Flip Side

Sky's the limit! (my son, Wil, age 5)

This is Wil, and this is exactly how I feel when I’m around him. Yes, there are clouds, but he lifts me up above them to see the world as a vast and beautiful place.

There are many blog posts out there about the hardships of raising a child with special needs. Each and every child is different, and awareness of the challenges is very important to acceptance.  However, awareness of the flip side is equally as important. Allow me to share some of my experiences with the flip side.

In the morning, Wil wakes up singing or chattering in his sweet voice, and the first thing he does when he gets out of bed, is seek me out for a hug. It’s not just any hug, but a melt-completely-into-you-grab-you-tight hug. Good morning? It is now!

Then, its time for breakfast. I ask him what he wants to eat, he tells me, goes to get his spoon, and then his cereal or eggs or whatever it is. If its eggs, he will crack them and help me scramble them. If its oatmeal, he knows how to work the microwave, I just tell him what numbers to push.

Now, this may not sound exciting to you, but if you have a child with special needs, this kind of proactive independence has been worked on and worked on, and to witness the speech and the actions all come together is a beautiful thing.

Ok, so my morning has already started with singing, an incredible hug, and the satisfaction of witnessing earned achievement.  I love my coffee, but this is the stuff that really keeps me going.

Then, off to school. In the car, there is the music. The kid can’t get enough! He is jamming in his car seat, loving life. Even if it’s a slow-moving Monday morning, I find myself laughing and singing right along with him. If we all had the pleasure of Wil’s morning hug then singing in our cars on the commute to work, road rage would be non-existent.

After school, he gets off the bus, and its time to play outside with the dog. He could care less if it’s pouring down rain, or frigidly cold, he wants to be out there. Children with Down syndrome are visual learners, so even though it’s not my favorite thing to be out in frigid temps, I don’t want to quelch his desire to be outside learning and discovering new things every day.

Wil has a slow thyroid that he takes medication for, but every time we go to the doc for a check up, she compliments me on how well I’m keeping his weight down. But,  it’s not me, it’s him. He simply wants to be out in the fresh air running and playing, while unbeknownst to him, he is burning those slow to move calories.

When its time for bed, he has a favorite ritual. We sing our prayers to family and friends (and sometimes to our blanket and pillow), then, the kisses. He begins with, “Kiss my cheek” which means he is going to kiss MY cheek. Then he says, “Kiss other cheek, kiss my forehead, kiss my eyelashes…”  His sweet, little smacks planted all over my face.

Each day is a full day, with lots happening between these lines. But, every night, when my tired head hits the pillow, I’m comforted with the knowledge that because I am Wil’s mommy, I get to wake up and do this all over again.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Little Bird's Dad
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 01:31:10

    Great post!


  2. Trackback: Whap! Right upside the head | Autobiographical Reflections
  3. Trackback: What a Little, Wise Guy! | Autobiographical Reflections

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