*this is a personal post….please keep any negative comments to yourself. Thanks*
All children as special in their own way, with different abilities, learning, & views. But there are some children out there, who are different, who don’t follow the pack, who march to their own beat, & tend to stick out. I have the privilege of parenting two children who are unique, one of a kind, a spirited soul. And let me tell you, that even on our bad days, I wouldn’t change a thing about my boys, I would gladly go down this road again, because they both have given me so much more than I have given them.
When I was a young single mom, I thought I was the world’s worst mom. I couldn’t get my son (my oldest) to listen, behave, or do anything he didn’t want to do. It was a nightmare for a while and I had no one to help or guide me, so I could better help my son. I have been brutally honest with my son and everyone knows he was a terror and at times still is at 15. Starting at 8 years old, doctors tried to help me understand why he does what he does (at this time he was acting out) yet nothing was working. Over the years, different doctors (he has seen a bunch) has given him the label of ADHD, Bipolar, mood disorder, & ODD. We tried medicine, therapy and a few others things with no luck. I didn’t want to put him on medicine after medicine. I was worried of the effects on him down the road. When we got the last diagnoses, I had enough with doctors. How could they mistake one thing for another?
My youngest son, who is 4 years behind his brother, is different than his brother, but has struggles just the same. He wouldn’t speak, eat (hardly anything other than protein shakes for years) do what kids his own age did, till he was about 5. I knew by 1 he was different than other kids. The doctors diagnosed him with Autism, which didn’t mean a thing to me. He has had an equally hard but different road than my other son. My littlest son, whom looks a lot like me, is someone you won’t ever forget. For example, when he 1st started talking around 4 or 5 (talking so others could understand him, I always knew what he wanted or was saying), he would use words and phrases from shows he watched like Star Trek & Star Wars. Plus, he would add these big words and people would just stare at him. Both my boys are amazing but different than societies norms. They tend to have a harder time at things compared to my 3 girls.
For me the biggest change in our family, was the day I realized that these doctors couldn’t put my boys in a mold. And why was I trying so damn hard? There wasn’t a certain diagnoses to help them, because there wasn’t anything wrong with them. They are who they are, just as you and I are. Saying my son is Autistic or ADHD or Bipolar doesn’t mean a thing to me anymore. God made them the way he made them, who am I to change that. Things changed after I came to this realization & along the way I have met some great people with children who are equally unique. A friend of mine has a son, who is like my boys, a unique soul, because of the way he dresses, he loves to dress in girl clothes. No he isn’t transgender because he is only 4, but if he is so be it. That is who he is and we all love him for it. Right now he is just a boy who loves the look and feel of girls clothing. I was blessed enough to be ask to do his 4 yr photos, which came out amazing. Everyone loved them. And I was able to capture him perfectly in them.
Now don’t get me wrong, we have good days and bad ones, just like anyone else. My oldest is on one medicine which is a mood stabilizer, which he does need and it does work. On his medical chart, it says he is Bipolar, but I hate using that word because there is so much stigma associated with it from peoples lack of understanding or how crime shows portray people who are Bipolar. My littlest boy is still Autistic, well because it doesn’t change. He doesn’t need any help in school, in fact he has made honor & high honors 2 times this year. All on his own. Pretty amazing considering he was so far behind and didn’t speak till very late.
I look at how far my boys, family, & I have come. Along our path we found ourselves and acceptance that comes along with that. The acceptance & love we have for ourselves and each other is the glue that holds our family together. It’s funny because I myself am different than most, and in a way I have felt I’ve silenced myself over the years. But with each day I am learning to let go a little more and embrace myself, all the unique & wonderful things that makes me special. The biggest lesson learned from this is best summed up in this quote:
Do you have unique children who don’t fit the “normal” mold? What is a lesson you learned as a parent from your children? Or are you someone who doesn’t fit the mold? I love comments and would love to hear yours 🙂