A couple years ago I wrote about what it meant to be Raising a disabled mom. The surprising advantages that it has–and yes there are advantages–and the fears. Yes there are those as well. I got a lot of reaction from the piece, and was one of my first heavily viewed posts.
It remains one of my favorite pieces I have ever written.
I came across it the other day, and as I reread it, I realized just how blessed I truly am. How that little boy still remains the same sweet empathetic little 3-year-old he was back when I wrote the piece.
You see just this past weekend I found him sitting around our living room, a hockey stick in hand. He had the contemplated look on his face and for a moment my thoughts weaved from should I be worried about him to he is up to something, and if he was do I even want to know? Still I watched as he pointed the hockey stick and started making blaster sounds around the room, which sound suspiciously like the Stormtrooper guns. He would stop every now and then to ponder something. What that was, I wish I knew. He would adjust his hands, shake his head and then move on waving the idea away. His mouth getting a work out as it flipped from side to side. Now would be a good time to figure out what is in his head.
I assumed of course it was just a game of imagination, of Jedi meets Darth Vader, clearly never figuring out what side he was on, as he was playing on his own. This is why he asks for a sibling. But as I watched him, I noticed he was using only one hand, the other balled up.
“Honey, is everything OK?”
“Well I was just thinking…” oh dear, this could be dangerous. “You know that laser tag place; well I know you can’t play or use the guns because of your hand. (The laser tag guns required two working hands) But I was thinking of ways you could shoot with one hand, Mommy.”
Even if I had no interest in playing, the moment was beautiful. Given the choice, I would absolutely play laser tag with him. We sat in the living room for a moment both of us enjoying the silence. “One day it will get better.” He finally states. It’s a moment I knew would come, just as I know I will have to eventually tell him what happened. But I love that he is so matter of fact, as if by saying it would make it so. Still I know I need to admit the truth, even if he is five.
“No sweetie, I will be like this forever.”
“You mean like always? It’s never going to?” Those grey eyes grow bigger with the realization of it all.
“Always.” And there it is, the silence once more. I do not fear rejection as I did years before when I told men. But rather I let it sink in.
“Mommy, if I had one wish do you know what I wish for?” I do not know where he is going with this, but we had just watched Aladdin, so wishes and Genies rank big right now. I’m thinking it’s to be a real life Stormtrooper perhaps or another trip to Disney World?
But what did my son wish for? “I would wish for your hand to be better, so you could be just like everyone else.”
“Oh Logan.” It is not every day a five year old would wish for his mom to be like everyone else. For a moment I do not know what to say. But then again, what do I expect this is the same kid that actually holds my right/bad hand while crossing the street. This is the kid that actually helps me in opening things if I have a hard time doing so.
“But you know what? Even if your hand never gets better, it doesn’t matter. Because I love you, just the way you are. And being a little different, well that is alright, too.”
Did I lose it then? Absolutely.