I was sitting at my laptop typing away at a letter to my son’s school. He had slipped on ice and knocked himself out—I was sharing a detailed timeline with the assistant principal and his special education teacher.
“I’m sorry,” tears begin to well in his baby blue eyes.
I put aside my laptop and sighed. Now what? I was pretty fried from the last 24 hours and just didn’t have any energy for life in general. The house looked like there was a war between the medical equipment and stuffed animals. I’m not sure who won but the casualties were great. The trash reeked, the dishes were piled in the sink, and I wasn’t sure when I had showered last.
“Son,” I began patiently after a deep breath, “what are you sorry for?”
“I’m sorry I make so much extra work for you. I’m sorry you have to do all these extra things,” he hung his head and cried.
At this point, a little part of my heart died. It died because he’s 12.
When you are 12, you shouldn’t have to worry about the work you make for a parent.
You should be spending time playing video games, hanging out with friends, or driving your parents batty.
From the moment we adopted my son and brought him into our home, he breathed life and fire. My quiet, organized life was replaced by chaos, bath toys, and PBS shows. We knew he had multiple needs, but I also knew he was fearfully and wonderfully made.
Yes, some days do feel like an uphill battle of IEP meetings, doctors, and diagnoses. But when I look into the eyes of this child who I was told wouldn’t talk, would always be delayed, and may lose the ability to walk, I am not sorry.
Not for one second.
“Son,” I began tentatively, gathering him into my arms and praying I wouldn’t screw this up, “I’m your mommy. I love you. You aren’t extra work for me. I love taking care of you and nothing makes me happier. You are my joy.”
The sniffles and tears dried up slowly. I held him and tried to hug the hurt and pain away.
We sat for a while, both of us wrapped in each other’s arms and our own thoughts. He brightened up slowly and asked to play a game. I agreed and he left to choose it while I breathed a sigh of relief and a prayer that I said the right things. That he will be OK.
No, I’m not sorry. I’m stronger than I used to be, wiser, and proud of my children. They are my joy. I’ll never be sorry for reaching out and meeting their extra needs. It’s my honor and privilege to do so.