Back to school! I’ve hear it ringing in my ear for at least two weeks. “I’ll bet you’re ready to for school to start, most moms are!” Well not this mom!

I know, I’m working, what difference does it make? Something about having my kid’s home, sleeping, playing and enjoying their day makes me as happy as it does them. Do they fight? Sure they do, what kids don’t?

Back to school at my house amid all the papers, pencils, and notebooks also means busy schedules, IEP meetings, struggles with homework, tears and frustration. I have 5 children; they’ve kept more than busy. We celebrate the accomplishments, even the small ones. Do I complain, sometimes, not much but probably more than I should?

My oldest son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in the 7th grade. He was a bright kid, onry to his siblings, and full of life. My oldest daughter, a very spunky little blond, born with a cleft of the hard and soft palate, learning issues came with the package. Middle daughter? Oh no, I’m not done! My baby when very little was diagnosed with congenital hypotonia. Please don’t ask, I still don’t know. Later, much later, she was diagnosed as intellectually disabled. She crawled late, walked late, talked late, but she was the happiest baby you’ve ever seen. She still is! Fourth child? He’s a gem just like the rest. He was almost four weeks early, born 01/01/01. I probably should have bought a lottery ticket. He entered the world with the cord wrapped around his neck; it seemed like hours before he took his first breath. He always struggles in school, shown signs of “tics” that may be associated with or related to Tourette’s but it’s never developed into any more than that. We discovered two years ago he’s color deficient. AKA color blind, but only certain colors. Baby number five; son number three. He’s much younger than the rest. A bouncing baby boy with the biggest brightest blue eyes you’ve ever seen. Waiting, just waiting for a child, just one without an IEP! Not too much to ask, right? Baby number five was born with 3 holes in his heart that would require heart surgery. Baby boy, child number five, also color deficient but only certain colors.

I hope you’re not under the impression this is a “poor me” story. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I don’t enjoy school because of the struggles we share, the many tears, and hard work but there is a flip side to this story.

The flip side of this story is one of success and happiness.

We started the 2015-2016 year today. As I entered the school I notice the young mothers shedding a tear, placing the hand of their babies with someone they briefly met last year at roundup. I’m not one of those moms, I’m celebrating. I’m not celebrating because they’re back at school, I’m celebrating that we made it to another milestone.

Have they succeeded? You bet! My oldest son is in his second year of teaching and a brand new daddy, my oldest daughter will graduate from college at mid-term, my second daughter, third child,  is “in transition” is holding down a job, and functioning in a world that still has difficulty accepting diversity. My 14 year old? He’ll drive me crazy with excuses, make me nuts because he won’t do his homework, keeps me on the road with sports, and does it all with smile as he says “You know I love you mama!” My baby? He went to Kindergarten today! My blue eyed boy never had to have heart surgery. Did I cry today? Heck no! Not until now! I celebrate the first day of school but it’s not what you think.

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Cynthia Smith Huhman

I am a mother of 5 children, with a difference of 20+ years from the oldest to the youngest. I’m a new grandma to a beautiful baby boy! I have worked in the broadcast business for 9 years; I’m putting myself through college, studying marketing and leadership, and I’m a self-proclaimed big mouth for Tourette syndrome and developmentally disabled. Previously divorced; I now co-parent with my significant other of 12+ years, in 2 separate homes. Unconventional, but with a combined total of 8 kids… his, hers, and little ours it works for us! I live for my coffee & vanilla chai. I love to teach my daughter new crafts & inspiring her creativity. I enjoy my gardening, cooking, wandering around the hills with my camera, and writing. You can also find me at my new blog My motto: Pick yourself up and keep on moving!

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