Another Mother’s Day, and again I’m reminded of just how blessed I really am. Let’s face it, it’s tough to be a Mom. To be a parent. To be having a child in your care, no matter what title you have for yourself in that capacity. I’m pretty darn lucky that overall, my kids make that job delightful and relatively easy. I woke up Mother’s Day morning to the best handmade cards a person could get–a beautiful sketch by my daughter of herself and I with a heart between us, and a heart-melting ‘pop-up’ card made by Scout saying on the front, “Too much love?”–and then upon opening it up the pop-up is a chick’s beak and he’s saying, “never enough around you!” Seriously, does it get any better than that??
Lately an interesting topic was brought up on the web site I work for, Moms Like Me. Someone asked the moms to admit if they loved one child more than any other. I thought about it and wondered, for a moment, if it were true for me. I realized, no way. There is definitely a different kind of love that I have for each child, but one does not amount to more than the other. I do believe, though, that the love you feel for your child with a special need is definitely it’s own beast.
My daughter, who is ‘typical’, is really incredible. I know everyone feels that way about their kids, but every day she amazes me with just the person that she is. Oh believe me, she is a true teen. Her room is a pigsty and trying to get her to remember her little duties around here can definitely be a challenge. And of course there are plenty of eye rolls and “oh mom”s and there are days when the ‘tude is big enough to fill a room. But this is the girl who went through a tough time with our move to a new neighborhood and school district and came through thriving, getting almost straight A’s and having a ton of friends. (even a boyfriend, I might add…yikes!) Not only is she smart but she’s so very talented–the girl can draw, sing beautifully (when I can get her to use her voice!) and play a mean piano. Most of all, she is the person her friends call when they are having a hard time. She has such a giving and loving heart and would do anything for anyone. I’m so proud of her I could burst!!
And then there is Scout. If you are reading this blog you know enough about him to know how amazing he is and have just a taste of the things he can do and the way he touches my heart. The love I feel for him is definitely a Momma Bear love. Of course I feel very protective of my daughter–if she is hurting physically or emotionally, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. But typically Momma Bear only feels the need to rear her defensive head for her in these situations. She can hide out in her cave, resting until the opportune moment.
With Scout, Momma Bear is constantly in the shadows, waiting to spring. She is advocating at school, hoping the teacher can understand the ever-changing needs of her cub and is ready to pounce if she doesn’t. She’s crouching at the door every day as the school bus arrives, hoping she doesn’t hear about any classmates being mean or ignoring him altogether. And hoping he himself made the effort to play with those classmates. She’s waiting by the mailbox hoping to see a party invitation, or by the phone, hoping he’s called for a play date.
Loving a child on the spectrum is definitely fierce and very intense. It’s an exhausting kind of love, but very rewarding. I wouldn’t say it’s more than my other child, but it’s definitely different. And I love experiencing those different kinds of loves!!! As cheezy as it sounds, I now understand when people say that having a special needs child opens your heart in ways you never would know otherwise. For him and for everyone else around me. I will admit though, sometimes I wish Momma Bear could take a load off and hibernate for a while. Maybe someday…