Bait and Switch
We are lured in by this, aren't we? A sweet, snuggly baby. Just imagine him on your chest, his head tucked under your chin. When I got married, this is all I could think of. So, we had one. That opened pandora's box. My hormones, once dormant, were fired to life and I had to have another, and another, and, well, you know. And they are sweet. They completely consume you. I was lucky. I had very healthy babies and their infancy was bliss.
They grow. They venture out of your reach. They no longer rely solely on you for their support, friendship, and entertainment. They go to school. They have friends. Or they don't. They have heartache. And there it is. What seemed to be a great idea, a baby you could care for, and suddenly you can't protect him or make him happy with a simple game of peed-a-boo. He hurts and you have no power to make it better. And that breaks your heart.
I laid in bed last night worrying over Hunter. His autism doesn't affect as many parts of his life as it once did. He no longer has a hard time with change. He asks us questions (he's especially interested in 'The Amazing Race'.) and is doing better answering them. He is smart and does well in school. It's the social aspect that troubles him still. It wasn't so much of a problem when he was younger. He had his brother as a best friend. But, now that brother has friends of his own and Hunter is noticing that he doesn't. In school, his classmates are mean. I just found out that instead of 'cooties', the kids in his class call it the 'Hunter touch'. His hand shook as he told me, an Autism-affect that he rarely displays anymore. Thankfully, he has a very sensitive teacher this year who already found out about this problem and is dealing with it. He can't remove the effect on my son, though, and neither can I.
When I had these babies, I knew they would grow up, I knew they would have challenges- I remember being young. I just didn't know how it would feel as a parent to watch them go through it. If you look up parenting in the dictionary, they should include the word heartwrenching in the definition. I wouldn't change it, I would have them all over again. And maybe it's good we don't know how hard it'll be. Maybe that's the plan.