So our little lion man is not so quite so little anymore! Tomorrow this guy turns six.
Like the man himself says frequently: "wowsers."
I find that as time rolls unchangeably on I have less and less words to say about being a special needs parent.
When he was a baby and I was a newbie at all of this, and I thought (or acted like that anyway) that I had somehow gotten a compressed cliff notes chip that downloaded straight into my brain the moment that Leo was born. I literally became a master overnight and an expert professor over the time it took my section scar to heal. I had something to say about all of it! Anything on Hydro, Hydran, epilepsy, medications, surgeries, syndromes, birth defects; I was the go to gal. I even thought I knew all about Autism, vaccinations and even Downs syndrome. What the hell was I thinking?
I don't actually think I was "thinking," I was coping.
My way of dealing with a traumatic situation is apparently to own it all the way. And I mean all the way.
I signed up for every single special needs group online and otherwise.
I trolled thousands of SN message boards.
I stalked medical professionals.
I pretty much considered myself better fit to preform hospital care than the competent staff of over-qualified nurses.
I have even been known to give the doctors lectures on their own specialties!
Although it is indisputable fact that I am an expert on Leo, however, on all other subjects even in the special needs circle, my so called PHD. chip is slowly corroding and fading into well deserved oblivion.
And lately...I find that I have nothing much to say anymore. I feel for new SN parents, and I grieve over senseless tragedies involving children, but I don't drive myself and others nuts with "knowing" all about it.
As life goes on, as my lion grows, as we face new challenges and still deal with unresolved old ones, I have less and less expert opinions. Or at least opinions that won't rest until they are shoved down everybody's throat.
I still battle it out to the death with hospital secretaries who, poor dears, were blessed with a very small IQ indeed, and I still try to lecture and preach on all the different ways of Leo...somethings will probably never change...But I just don't have that know-it-all sense anymore about the whole thing. I don't feel the need to bombard every stranger I meet with Leo's epic birth story, nor do I drone on and on about our challenges and trials.
These days I suppose, I let Leo do the talking for me.
There is probably a purely psychological explanation for all of this; like I've reached some step or other in the grieving process, perhaps even that so coveted step of final acceptance.
If so, that step isn't really what people think it is.
I don't think it really means that the sun finally shines while birds sing and lambs and lions frolic together while you live happily ever after. It's more like the sun shines, and then it rains, perhaps even thunder, and then the sun shines again.
There is range and there is moderation.
I no longer have the almost rabid emotional obsession with Leo's prognosis. I no longer compare and contrast him to others, or if I do in a weak moment, its almost as an after thought and does not have enough power to break my heart or even sting.
Sure if Leo was born normal that turbulent night six years ago, I would be a very different person. But would I be a better person? Who knows? And now, I don't even seem to care.
Here is our lion boy rocking his way into year six. He's got a special thing going on with music this guy.
Happy Birthday to my boy!