Wednesday, September 26, 2018

2 days and 2 months from now...

In 2 days and 2 months from today I will be a mother of a 16 year old. I am not sure how that happened. How has life gone by this quickly? How have I been a mother to a child with cerebral palsy for 16 years? How have I survived the stress, grief, appointments, therapies and all of his behaviors? How have I learned to cope and love and even come to enjoy his idiosyncrasies? Somehow I have. Somehow I have made it this far. Somehow the future is slightly less scary. Somehow the tears have become farther and fewer. Somehow I have reached 100% acceptance. Somehow I have become stronger and wiser. Somehow it will be 16 years or 5,840 days of living a life that I never imagined. He won't be getting his learners permit, he won't attend school dances and possibly not even prom (he doesn't like to), he won't have best friends like I remember but he will have the best life I can give him. I will never stop doing what is best for him.

16 seems like a turning point. I remember counting the days until I turned 16. I couldn't wait to start the new phase in my life. I couldn't wait to get my license and work a job and get a car. He experiences life completely different from what I remember and that often makes me sad. I have to accept that he still enjoys life. He doesn't know any different. I think the hardest part for me is that he won't be able to drive. He has been obsessed with cars since he was very young. He has watched countless videos of 16th birthday surprise vehicles. He has a love for chevrolet. He wants to get a job and always asks if he can go get a job. He always thinks he can do things that he just isn't capable of doing, yet! You never know.

I always keep the hope. I am going to take him to get a state ID so he can still have that piece of plastic similar to a license. He is actually already set up with a company that offers services to help him get a job the summer of being 16. He will work a few hours a week at different jobs over the next years to see what interests him. He is going to get a power wheel chair so that being in the community and working will be easier for him and he will be able to do things more independently.

He acts like a total teenager and hibernates in his room. He back talks when he doesn't want to do something. Thankfully he is still a mama's boy and loves me to death, even when he tries to act like he doesn't. A smirk appears on his face and I walk away smiling knowing that he still completely loves his mom. I have learned to love most of his quirks. I have learned how to better parent him over the years. I believe you have to parent each child differently. They all react differently. They all handle punishment differently. They all certainly behave differently. He needs calm. He needs me to talk through everything. He needs me to explain what I expect and what he did wrong and I need to speak calmly but firmly. We have come a very long way and he has learned to control most of his behaviors. Although he has never had an official autistic diagnosis he definitely has most of the characteristics. Knowing this and learning over the years what works best has helped me become a better and more patient mother. My job is to help him grow into a decent, loving and independent adult. It is a work in progress but I think I am doing an okay job. He has come a very long way over the last few years.

So I have 2 days and 2 months to perfect his epic birthday surprise. We aren't telling anyone so you have to wait and see. I just hope he likes it and isn't disappointed. He is very excited to turn 16 and I have been slowly letting him know that he may not be able to drive. I decided this year it was time to put some doubt in his mind. He thinks he can just go and get a license and drive. It isn't that simple. He is labeled as legally blind. He can not read or write. I explained the test you have to take to get your learners permit but then I read you can actually have someone read you the questions. We may take him to classes and let him take the test. If he fails he fails. We practiced with on line questions on the way to the abilities expo and he actually got a lot of the answers correct. I couldn't believe it. Maybe if there is a will there is a way. I just don't think it will be at age 16 or 17 but maybe one day he will prove us all wrong and actually drive.

We have gotten through all of his siblings birthday's for the year so the countdown is on! 16 here we come!

1 comment:

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