Why My Special Needs Son Growing Older Frightens Me

Why My Special Needs Son Growing Older Frightens Me

When I slept that night, I dreamed about my special needs two and a half year old son who was now an adult and in the dream, I was chasing him, losing him, finding him with a smile and laughing when he was found being pulled by a new friend in quite a large wagon. He was not a toddler anymore. My baby was now a young man, nearly an adult and I seemed happy.

Such a slippery slope we weave when we first practice to deceive. Those wise words had been offered again and again by my mother and a gentle reprimand or kind rebuke when her only daughter seemed to look for trouble. If one parent denied the request for a spend the night then my wiley self would ask the other, often my dad was second fiddle, he who played the role of bystander could be tricked if you appealed to his pride simply by asking him for permission.

This type of foolery was aimed at others but had morphed into a mechanism I used on my own self. Yes, it was a likely demise subconsciously created for the mind that had been hurt enough to avoid pain at all costs. I could pretend with the best of them and then unleash a torrent of thoughts the next minute. Always on my terms but that ability was failing with Amos. It had become a game I could no longer win. The heart is too powerful and though I am thankful, it leaves me vulnerable, a mother often on the verge of tears and my wounds splayed for the world to see. Though I forced the thought of Amos’ future birthdays out of mind, they had found a way to creep in, my mind at rest and desperate for sleep and yet, I awoke tearfully.

When others share that their special children are now adults, I am barraged with waves of emotion, to the point that it shocks myself. I am left wanting to stick my fingers in my ears and chant, “La,la,la,la,la,la” repeatedly, loud and fast. My effort to block out this kind of statement is totally unnecessary. One, I am usually reading about this experience and two, it is incredibly immature and unhelpful. This had never stopped me before though and I shrugged off the wave of feelings that tried to envelope me and attempted to move on with the day. Like always, they circled around again and the time between the ignoring and circling was shrinking these days.

My avoidance clearly had to be acknowledged and my anxiety addressed. How could I better do this? I write my thoughts, talk to friends, share my heart and yet, I avoid the quiet. The real quiet where we contemplate and allow our thoughts to move naturally. In my dream, my mind had done this. I could see the future that most frightened me and I was content and Amos was happy. When the most recent mother shared her daughter’s age, she also specified their happiness after referring to the widening gap of development. I want to stop fighting and yet, I have never done something so hard, this tug of war between my mind and heart, waged while awake and in slumber. Surely I am not alone in this search for my diamond in the rough.

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