They say to enjoy every moment of motherhood because soon they grow up and it changes. I used to wonder how this would work for Michael and I as it took him longer to reach his milestones and then when he did, he would sometimes skip the next step and zoom ahead at top speed. Still, I did my best once I caught Michael’s unique rhythm, to enjoy moment with Michael, each day where he would say or do something cute, funny, smart or charming. When I first realized he loved directions and he would tell me where to turn on streets, both in the car and on foot during our mother/son walks, as he had navigated on Google Maps beforehand. I also enjoyed when he first took an interest in cooking. And like with anything Michael does, when he does it he does it with gusto and such intensity that you can’t help but fall in love with the subject too. I enjoyed when he became fascinated with experimenting with music, singing briefly with hip hop dancing.
Then though, there were the moments that were not so precious. The moments, of anger, anxiety, fear, and pain. These were hard to live through with Michael. I kept feeling I was failing him as he would ask me to help him, cry sometimes, and I didn’t have the answers. I would sometimes find temporary band aids and our wonderful team behind us would help, but then we’d be right back to where we started. What changed? Michael, in time, grew up. He started seeing how now as a young tween he has power over his emotions. He is not as helpless as he thought he was over his OCD thoughts, his anxiety, or his anger. He is learning better how to manage his diabetes everyday. Most important of all, I am losing importance as the one to “fix” everything as he sees that he is responsible for doing that. This, of course, is a learning curve and takes times, but I know he and I will get there.
I am proud of the way he has grown. I am proud of how though the process is hard on both of us, he does learn from mistakes and eventually connects the dots of the changes he has to make. As a result, in a strange way I am not as stressed anymore about the hard moments. This doesn’t mean I feel happy or relaxed, of course or still don’t lose my top from time to time. Neither does Michael. However, I see that he is growing from them. He is becoming stronger, more sure of himself and I am seeing the transition slowly. First my baby became a toddler, then my toddler became a little boy, and now in the last two years, my little boy has turned into a tween soon teen with very definite adult ideas. He is putting up his boundaries in how he wants to spend time with Dad and I, as we do with him. He is wanting to be more with friends or alone pondering life. He is growing up and pushing away from me. And I couldn’t be happier. Yes, there is some nostalgia. No Mom ever has none, especially when the journey to bring your child into the world in an interactive and healthy way was not an easy road for him and you. In fact, you celebrate even more because you see that your child will be ok in the world one day when you are no longer in it.
But, as any Mom will tell you, it is all worth it. It was also worth all those times I wished he’d leave me alone and not want to play and do things with me. I’m so glad I pushed on and enjoyed that time as it’s slowly slowly coming to an end as Michael finds new ways to entertain himself and in a healthy way, moves away from Dad and I. Of course, as a parent it is still important to be there present in your child’s life even as they grow. You need to know their friends, what interests them. You need to find some special activities to do together. I promised myself I will enjoy these moments too that will soon be gone when he is in his teens. For now as always, I am taking things at Michael’s pace, and letting it lead me and him where we are supposed to go, and all of this in his own exceptional way, because life with Michael is anything but ordinary.
Exceptional Parents, do you enjoy the precious moments you have with your Exceptional Child? Remember even if it does not look like a neuro typical child’s development, your Exceptional Child will change and take you on a different road. So have fun exploring with them every day. Honor what interests them and let them show you how they see the world. It will help you both grow and appreciate the diversity that is out there. Until next time.
Are you the parent of an Exceptional Child struggling with how best to handle challenging behavior? Are you worried about development, anxiety, or doubting your abilities to help your child become the best they can be? I can help you find your confidence as a parent again. For more information about my journey and coaching programs, check out my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Let me help personalize tools that will help your Exceptional family thrive!