When our 9 year-old son Talan was diagnosed at age 3 with Apraxia and severe developmental delays, my husband and I decided it would be best for me to leave my job to stay home and take care of his needs. The speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and any other additional things he needed to help him. I knew there would be a lot of driving to/from these appointments, I knew there would be fun days, and not so fun days. I knew it would be worth it and I knew (or so I thought) he wouldn’t need these therapies forever. We wouldn’t be doing this in 2 years….3 years….4 years. Or would we?
As the year’s have gone by, there are so many things I am learning along this journey of special needs parenting. Things I realize now that I never realized 6 year’s ago.
What I didn’t know:
I didn’t know we would still be here at age 9 talking about how delayed our son is, 6 year’s later. After year’s and year’s of INTENSE therapies. He is still SO far behind.
I didn’t know that my son would struggle with writing.
I didn’t know that he wouldn’t be able to talk effectively and be understood by his peers, and still struggle to communicate to the beautiful world around him.
I didn’t know that he would struggle with reading/
I didn’t know he would struggle greatly with basic math.
I didn’t know how lonely this road would be or how exhausting it feels.
I didn’t know there would be SO much heartache.
I also didn’t know that he would make me laugh so hard that I would cry.
I didn’t know that he would be able to communicate his love for other people through actions.
I didn’t know he would shriek with glee over the littlest things, simple things, like going for car drives at night looking for Christmas lights.
I didn’t know that his heart would be bigger than anyone else I have met.
I didn’t know he would LOVE country music so much and know every single artist and every song they sing.
I didn’t know that he would be an amazing swimmer, golfer, cook, lover of animals and an amazing hug giver. Seriously, like the BEST hug giver on the planet. The kind that warms your soul.
I didn’t know that even with all of the sadness I feel; he would push me to continue to be the best mom I could be.
I didn’t know that I was about to learn so so much, or that my son would be my teacher.
Most of all, I didn’t know how much purpose he would give ME.