Saturday, May 7, 2011

They may say Motha-but I say Mother...

 ~"Mothers are all slightly insane.”~ J.D. Salinger


 It's Friday! As usual on Friday the herd comes home hyper and ready for the weekend.  All of them screaming talking at once trying to get my attention...All of them hastily trying to hide the mother's day presents they had made me at school. It was also progress report day for Sammy. Sixth grade has been huge for him. Up until this year, school had always been a struggle.   I don't know what happened-where this leap has come from..but my boy is excelling. He has made the honor role twice this year..and, because of his "academic achievements", he has been invited by one of our senators to serve as an honorary page (in the state senate) for a day. I am in awe of him.

  I can't help but think back on the early years with my boy. It took us what seemed like an eternity to get a diagnosis for him.  I had suspected that he was "different" when he was just sixth months old. His focus on certain things, his lack of response(sometimes) when I called his name..or even banged pots behind his back. His ability to stay awake for decades seemingly days at a time..his night terrors and(what seemed like unprovoked) screaming fits. At first I was told  it was just "colic" and then.."Your're just a new mom-you're imagining things"...and then gradually, he stopped talking. THAT is when the doctor started paying attention.  He was tested and prodded -evaluated and observed. When we finally got a diagnosis-I was...relieved. Finally we had some sort of answer-we could take action-figure things out. You would think that finally we would all be on the same page.  Nope.

  My relief it seems was cause for concern. It would appear that it was seen as some form of denial. I know-right? I mean, I had been the one who( all along ) had been saying "Somethings not right here!" And now, I was being told things like "He doesn't always respond when his name is called" "He hyper focuses on objects to the exclusion of everything else around him." Ummmm...Hadn't I already said that-like fifty gazillion times? But no-now it was "SERIOUS" and I had to face "REALITY"..there were some things my son "may NEVER do" and then they would give me THAT look.  You know the one...The kind that is just full of superior knowledge pity.

  I have to admit-at the time, I was so worn out(-frazzled..a dried husk) that I didn't know enough to fight back(yet).I took them at their word. We had a new baby (Oscar) who didn't sleep, a three year old that didn't sleep..we didn't sleep..I didn't know which end was up. It wasn't until his first speech evaluation that I rapidly fell  back down to earth. As an ironic aside-When the speech therapist came to our house to evaluate Sammy ..she looked at Oscar in his little swing and declared "Now THAT is what a normal child acts like!"  Funny huh?...maybe not so much. She then proceeded to tell us(after spending five minutes with him-by the way, it was her last day working for this particular agency) that he was basically incapable...didn't know anything..that her coming had been a waste of time.That I needed to FACE REALITY.  As she was leaving,
she said "just look at his ears-they are too low on his head..that tells me a lot!" sigh..  To this day-I still don't know what she meant by that. I did ask his doctor if his ears were low...he just looked at me oddly..and said.."What?" I said.."nothing!".. and left it at that.

  I did face reality that day. I knew all along that my son had issues-knew that we all had our work cut out for us.  I also knew that unless I stood up for him(and myself)-insisted on getting the services he needed in place, no one else would. I learned to look at my son.  Really look.  He was telling us so much. Only it just wasn't in words. I learned how to listen.   I also learned how to file a complaint.

  All of this seems like a life time ago-when in reality it was only nine and a half years. There has been so much growth, so much change. Funny how you don't always seem to notice these things until something big happens.. like the honor roll or student council...and even a first date.We are just too busy living/enjoying the day to day to always see it.  Although we do try our best to encourage them all-every day. They are great kids-and I like to tell them that.  The really nice thing is that they are starting to encourage each other..although sibling rivalry and competing for my attention does happen....

  Today, Oscar must have overheard me talking to Sammy about his report card..telling him that he had a real talent for science and math..because a few minutes later he came to me and said "Mama?  Do you want to know what I'm really good at?"  silly me...he had brought some great math work home and I thought he was going to mention it..so I said "Absolutely..tell me" and he said "You really want to know I am talented in?" (Oh why didn't I notice the grin on his face)  "Yes Oscar tell me!"(sometimes I am just too innocent) "I'm really good at POOPING!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" *sigh*

  Whether you are a "Motha" or a "Mother"...or like me-a bit of both..I wish you all a lovely Mothers day weekend.  I shall be enjoying it with the herd-who, by the way, ALL have lovely ears.

11 comments:

Life in the House That Asperger Built said...

Beautiful, Kathleen. :-)

Happy Mother's Day to you.

KWombles said...

Yay Sammy!

Oscar is too funny. I love his zest for life. And think of the fact that some folks aren't so good at pooping, you know? :-) That's a good thing to be good at!

Lizbeth said...

He's a cheeky one that Oscar! Isn't it amazing how fast they grow and their accomplishments?? And I'm amazed that we had such similar experiences. I was told over and over to relax and enjoy...it wasn't till he was 3 and started missing milestones they became concerned....I I was relieved!!! Seeing the kids grow, excel and mature is the best mother's day present--but don't tell my husband--I still want a day off! Hehe!!!

Big Daddy Autism said...

I swear, Oscar must be related to me. That boy, just like his Uncle Big Daddy, is obsessed (rightly so) with all things poop related.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I never even noticed people who may have told me to face reality as it was right in front of me all the time. Why do they always seem to be prophets of doom? Glad they were soooo wrong and Happy Mother's Day and thanks Oscar for once again giving me the best laugh of the day :)

Anonymous said...

...I couldn't imagine the world without your children...I couldn't imagine my world without you and your family...
I Love You...From, Weird Stalker Woman who will start calling your house at all hours and have plastic surgery to look JUST LIKE YOU!...I will also have to have my knees removed so I can get the height thing right...

Anonymous said...

Hi Dear, I am so happy for Sam. I hope he gets to wear a suit! How proud both you (Omar) and he should be. Oscar is a rip. Oscar is very good at making many, many people laugh! Love, Ei

Stephanie said...

It really is a great journey, isn't it? Hard, yeah, but well worth it!
:-D

jazzygal said...

Your Sammy is simply amazing. That 'Agency worker'?? Well, I can see why it was her last day..what a complete waste of space she was. And how easy it COULD be to stupidly mislead parents. But not so our clever Kathleen ;-) You rock. I know it's our life's work to fight for our kids but you deserve one big pat on the back. Mamas need praise too :-)

Ahh... good ole Oscar! I just KNEW what he was going to say!! It's EXACTLY what WiiBoy would say too!!

xx Jazzy

kathleen said...

Everyone thank you so much for your comments! Blogger being down for a day and a half really threw me-especially when I went to respond and couldn't. Sorry..I wasn't ignoring any of you..:)

Diane said...

Finally getting around to reading this. How terrific for Sammy to get special recognition on top of making such progress. Hope you had a happy Mother's Day.