I am not making any reference to religion here, but by BC, I of course mean “Before Children”.
I ask the question about life before them because of the conversation I had with D this morning.
I think anyone who has read anything I have written concerning my wee man knows that he is certainly old before his time, and was probably born middle-aged, as sometimes he can be such an old nag, it makes me laugh – never directly to him I hasten to add!!
With D’s birthday just a couple of days away he has been in quite a strange mood, flitting from high highs to very low lows. I am sure it is a combination of excitement but also worry about the unknown – like many people on the spectrum, surprises are not taken easily, and to know you are getting them, in the way of presents, is ever so slightly stressful for him, even though he knows he will end the day with things he has wanted. We have therefore been treading on egg shells quite a lot recently, with much of his behaviour being given space to calm down – although when it has gone too far we have dealt with it appropriately.
Today the mood has been one to scare even the most proficient of understanding D! I think M has been petrified of him. Why you might ask, has he been violent, either physically or verbally? NO, its been worse than that, he has been loving! To me, D has always been my cuddly boy, there is nothing he likes more than having cuddles, at anytime or place, but for most people he isn’t like this. He winds a couple of his girl friends up, by trying to kiss them, but that’s more a game they play. M hates kisses or cuddles unless he instigates it, and I always know when he is poorly or something is wrong because I start getting lots of cuddles. D knows how much M hates physical contact, and so does sometimes try to kiss him just to wind him up – very typical sibling behaviour! Today though, he was being emotionally physical with M, and it was lovely to see to the genuine cuddles between them. He then came to me, and curled up on my lap, and asked me what life was like before him!
What a question for your child to ask. What was life like when they weren’t in your life? I could have gone all soppy on him and told him he was the most perfect thing to have happened to me so anything else was irrelevant, but I think he would have still been laughing now! I thought about it for a while, and was honest with him, that while we had only had him for 7 years, it seems like he has been part of our life for forever.
I challenge any parent to think back to before they had kids and truly remember what life was like. I remember I worked ridiculous hours, which were nothing compared to those we put in raising our kids. I remember we had great overseas holidays that were spent going where ever we wanted to, and pleasing ourselves, but they weren’t so heartwarming as seeing the smile on one of the boys faces when you say we are going to a caravan for a week. I remember we ate at some interesting restaurant, just because we could, but the joy of receiving the plastic toy when you go to McD’s for the holiday treat fills your heart as much as their stomachs. I’m probably sounding soppy, but everything I thought of from BC, I could think of something better for once they were here. I had a good life before, a job a loved, that paid me well, and meant I could pretty much please myself. Then I met Hubby – maybe I should continue that sentence and not leave too long a pause for dramatic effect, and as soon as we agreed to commit we spoke about a family. The kids were part of our plan. While no parent signs up to raise an additional needs child, let a lone two, it is part of who the boys are. We are learning every day from them as much as we are teaching them about the world around them. My job now is to help them to become the best they can and from where I stand they are doing a pretty fine job.
In the words of the great philosopher Dr Seuss :
Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive that is youer than you!
That’s a great way to grow within yourself to believe in your own self worth, and I hope that is the lesson we have given the kids.
I’m not sure D really got that I was saying that life is better because he is in my world, but that is the way it is!