Today was one of those days where life felt easy. Before Amos, I had no idea that special needs could possibly infiltrate so many aspects of life. Much like having a newborn, plans in our house always consider the needs of Amos and the needs or wants of the rest of our family. Amos is three years old now, but dinners out, a walk, a school performance or soccer game, all require a discussion and contemplation. Sometimes though, things go better than expected and life is simple again. It’s difficult to articulate the rush of joy that travels with the mundane, but I shall try.
Sledding. I struggled mightily with the thought of even taking Amos as I envisioned his unhappiness putting a quick end to the joy of his siblings and sometimes, we take him out of the equation. A good friend had offered to have him over to play with trains, but I felt pulled for him to try the snow too. After all, he was stir crazy and my husband was back from a weekend of hunting and the car was de-iced, so I thought, what the Hell and off we went.
I crammed Amos in his snowsuit from last year and even managed to convince him to wear a hat and mittens. “No,” he said, for snow, over and over, and I could hear the hint of almost an S at the beginning. He sat down imtely on the cold white surface, leaned over and gave it a lick and smiled. More like ice, but he was pleased as punch. We coerced him into the sled with his brother and off he went, down the gentle slope towards the Albemarle Sound and then, he tumbled out.
No tears. No crying. He was laughing and smiling and giddy with delight. My husband had rushed down the hill to fetch him and as he carried him back up, he was just a regular old three year old boy, his joy palpable in the frigid air, ecstatic over his first real sled ride. I could have cried with the thought of it as relief poured into my heart and I found myself saying, both I in the recesses of my mind and aloud, he really likes this, he likes sledding. I could hear the incredulous tone in my voice and feel the way my wide smile was causing my blue eyes to squint, but oh, the joy.
It was fun that I had not expected. Life with Amos has been so much of everything that I have not expected, a myriad of slopes with lovely descents and ascents with peaks invisible to my naked eye. Life with him has been an amazing and visceral experience, full of those highs and lows, dotted with cheers and stifled sobs, a life so vividly bright that I sometimes find myself almost suffocating in its’ loveliness. Seeing the world from the angle of a special needs family is incredible and I wonder why no one ever told me, but maybe I just wasn’t listening?