It’s been a while since I was able to sit down and think long enough to actually make a post. Couple reasons…tax season being the main one and Ennie girl turning two is a close second. I have pretty much been in complete denial about her turning two. I am 100% not okay with it. Of course I’m not ready for her to grow up. I love babies…probably how I ended up with three of them! But, this is more than that. This is about wanting to protect her and myself from the inevitable. This isn’t what I thought life was going to look like for her or for the rest of my family. She should have been running around like a wild woman at her second birthday party. I should have woke her up this morning and asked her how old she was with her responding TWO! I should not have been canceling a double therapy for tonight because it seems unfair to make her work hard on her birthday. Her sisters shouldn’t be asking if she’ll walk and talk by three since she didn’t figure it out by two. They shouldn’t be torn between being excited she has a walker and can be up right and feeling embarrassed of it at the same time. Yet, here we are. Evidently, this IS how life is supposed to be for us and we are handling it. We are enjoying it most days. We’re just living life with our new normal. She is a happy girl and we are a happy family most of the time. We’re stressed but we’re good. We’re all overwhelmed at times but in love with each other and especially our crazy Enslie June.
Others love seeing her progress. We are greeted with smiles EVERYWHERE we go. Enslie loves people. She loves making people smile and is so very good at it. The thing is…people love babies. People love babies with special needs even more. It stirs up an even deeper maternal/paternal instinct in us. If “normal” babies need us so desperately, how much more do special needs babies need? So, people are drawn to them. They find joy in them. They pray for them. They smile at pictures with little eye glasses, with a little eye patch, with a little walker, with a little wheel chair. These tiny things are cute in and of themselves because they are so small and then you pair them with a little smiling baby and who couldn’t be drawn to that?!? The problem is that these cute & tiny little people and devices turn into big people with big devices and somewhere along the line people stop being drawn to them. In fact people start wanting to avoid them. Typical people don’t know the correct way to interact, they don’t know the correct way to avoid being offensive, to appear sympathetic but not feeling sorry for them. I AM ONE OF THESE PEOPLE that don’t always know the correct way to act. I follow and keep up with about 20 special needs kids on Instagram. Do you know how many adults with special needs I follow? Yeah…that’s embarrassing and messed up. I am now part of this community and love someone more than life itself with extra stuff and yet I am part of the problem….a problem that isn’t really fixable.
So, here I sit, not okay with her getting older as I know the inevitable is that people will at some point stop looking at her with wonder and instead start looking at her with pity. And, that I cannot handle. I can’t take it. Feel empathetic for us and her, feel understanding but please don’t feel sorry. It is the craziest thing to be thrust into a world you weren’t expecting. You can’t explain it. If you have not experienced it, you cannot understand it. I would assume it is similar to other traumatic events….losing a child, losing a parent, having chronic pain or life altering illness, loving someone with an addiction. We can all feel empathetic to these situations but if you have not lived it, been in it, you CANNOT know how it actually feels.
These are thoughts I have been dealing with as she has approached her second birthday. Now, however, she is two and today is basically the same as yesterday so I’m moving on. We, have so much to be thankful for. First and foremost, she is still here! Shortly after her traumatic birth, I told someone that if there were long lasting effects from it, I didn’t care. She was still here and that was enough for me. I meant it. I still do mean it. That’s enough. (Also as a side note, none of her issues are from her birth. It is all due to her chromosome abnormality. For more info on that…here’s a link. A Story About a Girl Named Enslie June)
She makes us so happy. She also makes me so crazy. She’s rougher on me that anyone else. She really thinks I can fix everything for her and my mind-reading skills aren’t quite as good now that she’s bigger and there are so many more things that she could actually be wanting. She’s at the babysitter’s today so I can breathe for a minute. I’m not super woman and some days I need a break from her which seems bad but it’s the reality of the situation. She is so feisty. She is randomly blurting out words. She has just starting standing without pulling up. She’s doing amazing with her little walker. I would say with most milestones she is right around a year behind except her social/emotion skills which measure at her actual age. She would be a pretty typicalish one year old…cruising, crawling, etc. She eats like a champ. She is sleeping muuuuuuuch better than she was and not on my head every night which is a major improvement! She is in love with her daddy and her Addie and her Mawmaw and her Cassie. She is not a fan of animals. She is super scared of all things new. She is fake laughing and fake coughing…and real kissing! She has about a million people in her life that are obsessed with her. When she hears applause, she smiles, assuming it is for her. She’s perfect. Turning two doesn’t really change any of that so I’ll just look at baby pictures today, cry several times & move on! I don’t have any answers for the whole special needs and society thing…let’s all just smile at each other and be descent humans.
That’s a start! 🙂
Happy second birthday beautiful girl!