Kids are in your future. Proceed with caution!

In Proceed with caution on September 23, 2008 at 2:01 am

Man life would be so much easier if there were danger signs EVERYWHERE. Ya know, letting you know in advance that you are in for a ride if you proceed? BIG RED SCARY danger signs.

What is an example, you may ask? HA! Parenting. Yeah. There should have been danger signs tatted on like every single mom I ever came in contact with. *I* happened to be one of those educated “bystanders” that thought the job was simple.

Oh MAN. After several trips to the ER for random situations like a nail file going through my son’s foot, a piece of his toy cell phone jammed in his ear, some unexplained seizures…and his ability to unlock doors and open windows at an early age, stack toys on top of one another to reach things up high…. I could write a book about the scares I have been through but it would do no justice unless there was a BIG RED SCARY danger sign on the front of it.

Parenting is not easy and not for the faint of heart. Any average Joe can star on Fear Factor, skydive or play with rattle snakes…LOL. Until you have a child, you do not know what fear is. You don’t know what love is. You don’t know what hope is. It requires a lot of acquired skill and dedication to take care of a child. Oh, add one with special needs and you are DEFINITELY in for a ride.

I remember clearly holding my baby boy in my arms. My first thought was “Oh my God, he’s out already?!?!?”. Second thought was “Hey, heeeeee doesn’t really look like us?!?!?” And my third thought was, “I can’t believe this”. I mean I was speechless for the first time in my life. All I could produce was tears. This was MINE. This was ME. The baby boy version, of course. My life had forever changed from that moment on and I had no clue what road was ahead of me….or him really. But he was the definition of perfect in my eyes and time honestly stood still for those few moments of him being in my arms.
The first several weeks was like I had a doll baby that had come to life! Ha, I remember dressing him up in all of his mini-man outfits as he screamed his head off. He would have preferred remaining in his birthday suit. But I just loved it. Couldn’t even put him in his crib, I just had to sleep with him. I had to feel that closeness. I would wake him up out of a peaceful sleep because even his crying was adorable.

OK that was very short lived. I started to ninja my way around the house when he was sleeping. I would literally combat crawl past his crib at times. He cried ALL the time. And it seemed as if he were psychic because I swear he would wake up and scream as SOON as I was about to engage in any kind of necessary activity. Like number two. Or eating when I haven’t eaten ALL day and I am so weak my BONES are shaking. Or talking on the phone FINALLY. I can recall so many nights that I would seriously just cry with him. Man, was I ever glad to get past THAT stage.

I finally got to experience the sunny side of parenting. The first smile, first laugh, the cooing and babbling, the crawling, walking, past the bottle stage. But something just wasn’t right. He wasn’t hitting those milestones that I had so patiently waited for. The walking was delayed and when it came it was clumsy. The “mama” came late, went away totally, came back…..The words didn’t make sense half the time. The tantrums were SO extreme and not typical. He had seizures that were never explained. I was too young for that. I was still in the “I shouldn’t have to question professionals when they say everything is fine” stage.

My little baby boy is now a whopping 63 lb 4 year old….and I still cannot have a meaningful conversation with him. The dreams of camping out with him in our backyard have been shattered because he could honestly kill himself if left unattended in a backyard. I have yet to experience so many of the things I patiently waited for and longed for. We suspect he may be autistic but ya know, no one really helps. I am now 24 and SO not listening to the “professionals” when they say “time out will cure the behavior problems” or “a structured environment will break him of his impulsiveness”. I am on a lifelong mission to ensure my son has the best life he can possibly have given the circumstances. But no, I was not prepared for this battle.

I now have a baby girl. Sadly those feelings of hope, the images of dance recitals and cheer leading practice are being sabotaged by fears of her ending up in the same boat my son is in. Because yes, every parent experiences fear when it comes to raising their child. But it does not compare when you fear for a child that has no fears. Life is so uncertain and it’s horrible when you picture your child’s life and how it’s supposed to be then reality hits and it’s like you have no control over much of anything.

You don’t know how your children will end up and that is scary. Some end up being the President. Some will go on to Harvard and some will be stay at home moms. Some will fall in love with a Dr and others will fall in love with a drug addict. Your child may be advanced, may be average or may just be severely impaired. Your daughter could win a beauty pageant while your son gets bullied in school for being the “ugly duckling”. Your kids will always get picked on by other kids at some point in life. Life may be fair to them and life may be unfair to them. They may end up successful or they could just mooch off you for the rest of their lives.
It’s those kinds of fears that drive parents to do EVERYTHING in their power to give their child the best shot at life. And I have a strange feeling that I am now being repaid for all of the trouble I put my parents through over the years. I now know exactly what they meant when they said, “You just wait until you have kids”….


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