We have "special" kids in our family. Lots of them. We have lots of labels and very thick medical files. In spite of this, our "issues" are all generally mild. In a large way, we down play them all. We do our very best to treat our kids as normally as possible. We try to parent as "normal" as possible. In school and social setting and sports and so on we usually hold back the labels and let them go as "normal" if possible. We tend to play it down in conversations with our parent peers, our families and our friends.
Why? I'm not sure exactly. Maybe it isn't fun to wear the label as the child or the parent. Maybe it changes the way everything feels. No one likes the pity or awe. No one enjoys the freak factor. No one enjoys those conversations of "how do you do it?" or "I could never do it".
The quick and dirty answer is, you just do it. When it's your kids, you can do it and you just do because it's the right thing to do, to do right by your kids. You put yourself aside, toss your pride in the toilet and do what they need you to do.
A lot of times it's just easier to be average. It's easier to blow off the moment and just say, "oh kid x is having a moment".
Part of it is, for us, this is our normal, so it isn't a big deal to us. It's not something we need to make a big deal or drama out of. We don't need everyone to know about it or dwell on it because to us, it's as much a part of our everyday lives as brushing your teeth. Our normal just isn't your normal. But then again, isn't every one's normal unique?
We have recently added a new issue to our abnormal normal around here. Let me see if I can break it out a little bit.
Little Mr. has some, um, personality quirks. Little Miss has some behavioral issues and some long lasting issues from her life before us. Mr. Monkey has lots of things playing out these days. Chicklet brought us a taste of living with a person who lives in chronic pain, often times severe pain.
Through it all, we have had Littlest Mr. who has been astoundingly normal and average. That is until his headaches began.
A child with chronic pain is a new thing to live with. It changes your child, sometimes into someone you don't recognize or someone you don't like. It brings a new level of frustration when neither one of you can find the answers or the means to bring relief from the pain. It brings bitterness and anger to a child that shouldn't have any.
Today, on a beautiful bright hot summer day, we are inside. Air on. Blinds drawn. Lights off. Almost silence in our house.