Wednesday, September 05, 2007
what life brings
"I am the parent of a child with special needs."
I've able to say that for over 16 years. Although it's just part of the fabric of my life, every once in a great while, the pain is so fresh and tender that it's like it's brand new.
Jonathan was diagnosed with fragile x when he was almost 3.
He is now 19.
He has taught me more than I can tell you.
I'd like to say that I've taught him as much, but it wouldn't be true.
It has not been an easy road. I was a single mom for many years, it was scary, lonely, frustrating and daunting, knowing that he'd be my responsibility way past the age when most kids fly away from the parental nest.
Things like birthdays, major celebrations and milestones are a fierce reminder of what life brings. Even though Jonathan's body has grown, his mind is still young. He's got a child's ability (complete with curiosity, impulsivity and tact) and a man's body (complete with hormones and urges). My life is never dull. I wish it were sometimes.
The first day of school was bittersweet for me. I was so happy to see Adam and Micaela off on their adventure. And for Jonathan, it was a brick wall of a reminder that his much younger siblings have already passed him. I am not taking away from the things that Jonathan has accomplished in his life, but seeing kids his chronological age is tough. Our neighbor is 2 months younger than Jonathan and he drives, has a girlfriend and is well-spoken. Jonathan cannot shave himself, likes to watch "The Backyardigans" and has few friends.
Why am I writing this?
Because the grieving process never ends.
It just changes shape.