So I have sat down to write this blog many times, but havent been able to put the words to paper. Here's to hoping that I blog it tonight and stop thinking it all through!
One of the most stressful things as a mom, and I am sure this is true as a mom of typical kids and kids with special needs, is that you never know how the outside world views you. However as a mom to Matthew, I find myself almost constantly feeling judged. Matthew is either awesomely embraced by the world around him, or is seen as a nudge. I have never heard anyone say that Matthew does not evoke some emotion- either you hang on every word, or you pray for there to be some quiet when Matthew is around.
For those who pray for quiet, I think you can understand why there are days at 9 AM I am already cooked. For those who hang on every word, I am really, really trying to see him through your light. However, life with Matthew is always a double edged sword. Seeing him in the most positive of light means that I am also reinforcing all of his bad habits. He will talk to ANYONE. About ANYTHING. ANYTIME! ANYWHERE!
Do you know how dangerous this is? How troublesome this is? HOw am I to ever teach him the social graces of when we talk to others, when we don't and how to tell the difference when the world is constantly sending him the message that he is adorable?
But in reality, how adorable is he when you are the man standing next to him at the urinal and he is trying to chat you up? With his learning challenges, these are really the 2 options I have.....either teach him to never talk to strangers or essentially tell him he can ALWAYS talk to strangers and this includes the rule that you can't be frustrated when he chats to you as you are next to each other in the restroom.
We went to get blood taken the other day, and I preset him like CRAZY! "You are not to talk to people who are waiting to get their blood taken. You may look at a magazine, or talk to mommy, but the rule is we do not talk to other people in the waiting room."
We enter the lab and 3...2....1.....he immediately comments- hey mom the warts on my arm look better, and don't you know the senior citizen next to him, comments, oh my goodness he is adorable, and it went down hill from there.
How many of us can have wart discussions and be called adorable? For how many of us is commenting on our warts an open door for a 15 minute conversation? For Matthew it was.....and when that person left to get her blood taken, he commented to the next lady that he liked her shirt....a PLAIN WHITE SHIRT! but guess what, it opened the door, she talked to him, and as he plainly pointed out to me, it would be rude not to respond.
No matter how much I tried to remind him of our rule, or how much I tried to dissuade him from these conversations, he learned where each person in the waiting room lived, what schools they went to, where their sons and daughters work and they all know the birthdays of my entire family....and why? basically because Matthew has warts!
- I am a single mom of three amazing boys! All three of my sons entered my family through adoption. All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!