I sometimes think us mothers of children with special needs are more tired than mothers of children without special needs. Maybe that’s true… maybe not. Since I’m fully in the first category, I cannot speak for what life is like in the second category. I have seen a lot of really tired mothers of children without special needs and really vivacious mothers of children with special needs. And, vice-verse. Perhaps it works both ways and has less to do with the special needs than we think!
Speaking from my own experience, I LOVE being a mother to my children — who all happen to have special needs. It is by far the BEST — albeit the hardest — job I’ve ever had… and I’ve had some really great and tough jobs. While I enjoyed my 25 years in the corporate workforce and really did love so many aspects about each of my positions… In comparison, THAT was a cake walk and THIS is a slice of heaven on earth.
So here are just 10 of the reasons why I LOVE being Mama to my three children — Down syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder and ALL:
1. I know they need me but, more importantly, they love me… and they never hesitate to tell me so multiple times daily! And, they say it with such meaning! That’s a beautiful thing to hear randomly throughout my day, every day!
2. They show their love with an abundance of heartfelt hugs and kisses that are the real thing! With their little hands on either side of my face, they pucker up and plant a meaningful, you-are-the-only-one-in-the-world (right now) kiss on my lips as they stare lovingly into my eyes. THE BEST! (I have a girlfriend who thinks My Boys should give husbands lessons on how to attend to a kiss.)
3. They WANT to hold my hand (most of the time, that is, and sometimes to the point where my Big Little Men may fight over which of my hands they each get to hold). But, let me tell you, there is nothing… NOTHING like the feeling of my little ones’ hands in mine! From the warm, pudgy little fingers and hands of The Boys to the long and sinuous fingers of my Old Soul, I LOVE IT!
4. They deeply appreciate every little thing I do for them. They thank me for saying “God Bless You” when they sneeze (all three and every time), for taking them potty and telling them it’s OK if they’ve had an accident (and even when I tell them it’s not OK), for holding the front door open for them as they walk out (all 3), for fastening their seat belts, for taking them to and picking them up from school, for changing the channel to iCarly, and for playing “Victorious” in the car. All three say “thank you” when I give them a quick and loving peck on their heads as they scurry past me on their way to their next activity. They thank ME for loving them! Seriously, my day is a chorus of angels saying, “Thanks Mom! Thanks Mom! Thanks Mom!”
5. They listen. All of my children LISTEN intently to the words of wisdom and warning this Mama has to impart, topping it off with, “OK Mommy!” And, although they may not always do as I say, I know they heard me and I know they try because — before or after the fact, they can paraphrase it back to me (I’ve heard other parents complain they don’t get this). And, on the rare occasion when they don’t do the right thing, they know and immediately say a heartfelt “Rorry, Mommy!”
6. They each have a FABULOUS sense of humor… unique in their own way. I love to hear the purposeful-but-harmless teasing, the sarcasm, the pranks they play and the jokes they tell… sometimes directed at me, sometimes each other. Always complex and always hysterical.
7. Can you say agreeable? Even when they’re resisting, with a very little bit of prompting, I can [almost] always get my kids to heed my call. I LOVE that about them. Even when my little man says “no” he does “yes.” This sure does make life easier for me!
8. They’re GREAT company! They want to spend time with me. Sure they would rather play with their friends sometimes, and occasionally they’d rather have Daddy pick them up in the “red car” over Mommy and her “cool car” (novelty over routine; though the Old Soul picks me every time). But all three always come home to roost with Mommy. They are, thankfully, MINE forever more!
9. The sound of my children’s laughter fills my home, my life and my heart with love! I am absolutely certain that I laugh more than the average mother. You might be saying that says something about me — and you might be partially right — but the constant sound of my children chuckling, giggling, all-out, laugh-til’-I-choke, guttural belly-laughing is ALL ABOUT THEM. They laugh at each other. They laugh at the dogs and cats. They laugh at stuff on TV. They laugh at me. They laugh when they think private, funny thoughts. (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) And they share all that with me… without holding back. Laughter is the key to happiness and I’ve got it in abundance!
10. This love my children have — and share willingly — for me will never end. I was at a wedding recently where the groom has a brother with Down syndrome. “Daniel” (the brother of the groom) asked his mother (the mother of the groom) to dance. Tears streamed down my face throughout the song as I watched mother and son dance; the tender way he wrapped his arm around her and held her hand up elegantly as they danced. He looked into her eyes with the love I know so well from my own children. Sarge and I were mesmerized and agreed… this love we know will never end! No matter how grown up my children get, they will always show me the love!
Not everyone IS a mother,but EVERYONE HAS a mother. Show YOURS some love today!
I love you, Mom. Thank you for all you’ve done and for showing me how to give and receive love!