There are many moments as a parent, that I feel unsure, inadequate, out of place and like I might be making mistakes. If I were to dwell on every moment in the past that I felt like I had done something wrong, I’d be totally consumed, and unable to move forward and learn from the mistakes. Realizing this has probably been one of the most therapeutic and useful tools for me as a parent.
I commit my entire life and being to my children. They suck the life out of me.
But on a day like today, my children have made me so proud - that all of the mistakes, all of the exhaustion, all the tears, all of the money, all of the energy…. ITS JUST SOOOOOOOOO WORTH IT.
Our friends have a special needs child, Randall, a 3.5 (almost 4) year old boy. He was injured at his in-home day care back in June, received a traumatic brain injury resulting in 3 brain surgeries and half of his brain being damaged. He is in the process of relearning the basics of life, eating, talking, standing and everything else. Right now - he can’t walk, but can sit and scoot on the floor and is learning to stand, makes noises but can’t speak words, and has many other special needs. His smile and laugh light up the room, and he has the sweetest little playful personality.
Randall has always been very good friends with my son. I did not tell my son when Randall was in the hospital (June through July), because I knew that would be too hard for him to understand and deal with, how his friend was lying in a hospital bed, basically in a coma (drug induced for brain injury recovery).
I chose to wait until Randall came home from the hospital (the end of July), to explain what had happened to him, so that we could visit him and I could tell my son what to expect. I told him that Randall had got his brain hurt and was sick in the hospital for a while, and that he is a bit different now, and how he has to re-learn how to do things, because of how the brain stores all of that important information.
I was amazed at my son’s reception to the subject and his grasp of understanding. After I explained everything to him, as best as I could…. he said “But he’s still Randall, and we love him, and we’re glad he’s okay.” I responded with a big hug and said “Thats right, Honey. You couldn’t be more right”
Over the past month and a half, since Randall came home from the hospital, we have been spending alot of time with our friends and their son. They also have a new baby boy who was born just 3 weeks ago! (Yes, thats right, the Mommy was pregnant during ALL of this).
Randall loves to have kids around him to watch and play with. More than anything he wants to be with kids and be included in what they do. My kids’ love and acceptance of Randall has touched my heart. I am so blissfully happy that they have developed such understanding and compassion for others.
My son’s love and understanding for Randall goes beyond what I would ever expect any person to have. He has the biggest heart, and it makes me so proud. He has lots of questions about Randall, and I am always very honest with him and explain everything on his level, to the best of my ability. He is always very perceptive to everything we talk about.
My son plays with Randall and includes him in all of his play and everything he does. He always makes sure Randall has a toy to go with whatever they are doing, he talks to him and sits with him. He’s aware of his needs and will tell me when he thinks Randall needs or wants something, and he’s usually right on. My son can always make Randall smile, and has the ability to get him laughing so hard that he is literally gasping for air. This makes me laugh so hard that I cry.
Tonight, the Mommy brought Randall and the new baby over to spend some time with me and my kids, while she had some things to do, and the Daddy was busy too. As soon as Randall got here, my son got very excited and went into full fledged hyper-silly boy mode. He was jumping around and rolling around on the floor by Randall, being goofy and making him laugh.
My son started to get a little loud, and I asked him to tone it down a bit. He said, “Mommy, I just can’t help it, I’m just a silly boy!” Of course I couldn’t argue with that. Then he said, “Mommy, I think that God made me silly, so that I could make Randall happy.”
Needless to say, my son sent me into tears of joy. I said, “Honey, I think that you are right. And you are such a smart and special boy to come up with that idea. You are such a good friend to Randall.”
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