I have wanted to write something for the SPD network for a while. I wanted to write something funny, witty, or smart but let’s face it, I am not intentionally funny, I am rarely witty, and I am not the smartest kid in the class, which is all ok. What I am good at is being honest about my emotions and leaving myself open for anyone to read, so that that is what I am going to do.
We are in the midst of a whirl wind of testing, diagnoses and life altering changes here in our house. It started last year when we were told our then 2 year old was talking at a one year old’s level, turning into a diagnose of SPD and PDD-NOS, we are now waiting on the final piece when we meet with the specialist this fall.
I am a wreck. When we started this journey I jumped right into reading blogs and message boards for special needs kids, specifically kids with SPD and/or autism. These amazing moms are funny, strong and smart and I am none of those. I sit there reading their blog and think “God, I wish I was like her.” They must have some super mom power I missed out on, and I wish I knew their secret because they amaze me.
Me? I am that mom on the couch angry, crying and feeling confused. Not every day, but often enough. I mean there are days that I feel like I am in control, that things are getting better, and that this is going to be new and exciting and awesome. Then my son will not sleep, or he will hit his head so hard he bleeds, or his lunch won’t stay down and I am right back to wanting to go on vacation with a bottle of Jack Daniels. It’s like I live on a roller coaster of emotions and SPD is driving us. In a 24 hour period I will go from being so incredibly proud he peed in the potty, to feeling confident when we go out because he didn’t have a single melt down over jumping in the garden center puddle, to feeling over whelmed by the ball of energy making a huge mess in my living room, to feeling frustrated by the hour long head banging, throwing up temper tantrum at bed time. All of it leaves me exhausted, weary, and ready to run away.
I wasn’t expecting the feeling of being numb when his doctor told me she firmly believes he is autistic. Or the feeling like someone shoved a hot knife in my chest when I heard my husband say, “Our son is autistic” when we were looking for tablets for him. I didn’t expect the floods of anger over my friends facebook page about her nearly 3 year old riding a horse, talking up a storm or being potty trained. I’d kill just to have my kid ride a trike or be able to have a conversation with him. I didn’t plan on the feeling of sadness when I think about the future. And I had no idea the worries that would creep up in the middle of the night, all of those unknowns and “what ifs” you can’t help but think about. Will he be able to do ok in school? Will he have friends? Will he date a girl and get married one day? Will he be happy? Will his dad and I be able to handle all of this? These are things you don’t sign up for, they just land on you. No one signs up for this. No one PLANS of this. It makes me angry which in turn makes me sad. It’s not like it is anyone’s fault, but man it would be nice to point a finger and yell at someone. To throw a full blown melt down of my own right in the middle of the store, To go crazy on the old lady who tells me to “just spank him”, or to start banging my own head when he does. But I know I can’t do that. I am mom, and mom doesn’t hit annoying old women.
I also didn’t expect the flip side. The complete joy I would have over things like him saying “Please” without throwing a temper tantrum. The pride I would have when he learned how to jump, catch a ball, or sit down and eat like a boy, not a dog. I didn’t expect to meet some amazing people along this road, but it is a welcoming community that makes you feel at home. I didn’t realize the hope I’d have for things to come, knowing that he starts preschool in the fall and I know he is going to do great. I had no idea that I would laugh so much at the quirky little things he does. I didn’t realize you could throw a celebration over things that other kids do every day, or that I’d be calling my husband in tears the first time he told me he loves me with words. I didn’t know the mama bear that was in me, who shows her head when I feel like he needs fighting for or protection. And I didn’t know I could love a kid this much.
I guess all of that to say, I don’t really know where my emotions are. Most days I can paste on a smile, act like all this isn’t getting to me, but you know what, it does. It isn’t all ok. I am not all good. Am I happy? Yes. Would I change my life? No. But I don’t have to love every moment of this process. I don’t enjoy the constant therapy appointments, the endless doctors’ appointments or the sleepless nights. I know it will all be worth it; my son is going to succeed, grow, and turn into a fine young man, but in the mean time I will enjoy my wine. And maybe at some point I will turn into one of those strong moms I dream of being like. But until then, I am learning to admit that I am a big emotional mess and that is ok too, the world needs us crazy moms just as much as it needs the strong moms.
And that is the honest truth.