When we found out we were having you, a sweet little boy, we had so many dreams of what it would be like. Would you be crazy like your older sister? Defying the odds of climbing structures and jumping from great heights, no fear in the world. Would you be sweet and sensitive? Would you play sports? What kind? Football, soccer, baseball, or would you go for dance and theater? But your childhood hasn’t been what I dreamed.
I dreamed by now we would be neck deep in super heros and cars. Playing dress up with your sister and pretending to be cops and robbers. Walking over LEGOs and car tracks and picking up Nerf gun darts. But your childhood hasn’t been what I dreamed.
I dreamed of having conversations with you and listening to you figure out the ABCs. Hearing I love you for the first time or you calling out Momma because you needed something. I dreamed of listening to you and your sister chat and argue about your little child life and who had that toy first. But your childhood hasn’t been what I dreamed.
Instead your childhood has been oh he is just a late learner. It’s been helmets and appointments. It’s been maybe something isn’t right. More appointments and consultations. It’s been well what can he do at his age and having to tell people when they try to speak to you that you can’t talk.
It’s been trying to figure out how to communicate in our own way to make the day a bit easier. It’s been stress and frustration because you can’t understand my words to you. It’s been stress and frustration because you behavior can become slightly violent in a split second.
It’s been wondering what the future will really be like now. Will kids be kind to you even though you are a little different? Will you learn to speak through all these therapies? Will you learn to play with toys and with others? Who will you be years from now?
Your childhood has been hard so far and nothing like I dreamed.
But your childhood has also been full of so much love. It’s been full of laughter. It has been finding that one thing that makes you smile and happy and just running with it until you lost interest. It’s been forming an unbreakable unspoken bond with you. It has been celebrating victories like trying to use a spoon or walking me to the fridge because you want juice. Victories that seem small, but oh man, they are so, so big.
Your childhood has been full of you teaching me to be a better person.
Your childhood has taught me to enjoy the simple parts of life. That no matter what we go through there is always room for laughter and smiles. You have taught me to appreciate the constant chatter of your older sister. And that sometimes . . . we don’t need words to show our love. You have taught me that as a family we make the best team to get through hard times.
Your childhood hasn’t been what I dreamed, it’s been so much more.