Three and a half years ago, Colm received a label.
Special needs child.
I was terrified of those words. I was terrified by what it meant. I was the mom of a special needs child? That couldn’t be possible. I had seen mom’s with special needs children, and it looked so. hard.
In the last three and a half years, I’ve learned something about those moms though. They have a relationship like none other with their child.
For the ones that have children that can’t communicate with words, they communicate through sounds. And those moms know what they’re saying. They know what they’re feeling. They know and they communicate back with calm, reassuring words.
“Do you like this song? It’s such a great song, isn’t it sweet boy?”
Those are words that I heard a mother speak over her wheelchair bound child. Amidst the worship and the sounds he was making, she knew. She knew what he was feeling.
I’ve seen mothers respond to their children’s questions even when they don’t make any sense.
“Are you going to dance?”
“No, not me”
There was no music playing. Just dinner being cooked. But the topic of dancing came up because that’s what was on her mind.
Another young woman posts pictures of her hair getting cut, getting her ski boots strapped on, and enjoying outings with her class and family. Despite the fact that she doesn’t have the words to say, she still communicates with the people around her. Her mother tells her how beautiful she is, how much she loves her, and she tells her with an incredibly calm voice “show me what you want” because she knows she can’t tell her what she wants.
I watch these women, and the words special needs doesn’t scare me as much.
I saw a picture a while back —
It takes a special kind of person to care for a child with special needs”
“A child with special needs will inspire you to be a special kind of person”
It’s true. The person I am today is not the person I was before Colm. He has truly inspired me. But even beyond Colm and his needs, the women I see caring for their children inspire me, they show me that no matter how big or small the needs are, the relationship I have with my child is bigger than all of it.
Thank you ladies.