I love my children, more than the air that I breathe I tell them. Tali is then quick to point out, "but without the air you breathe, you wouldn't be here." To which I reply "exactly!" and she just raises her eyebrows.
Some days, at the end of the day, I just feel spent beyond my emotional budget. Raising children was never guaranteed to be a cakewalk. In fact, the only thing I'm certain of in child rearing is that there are no guarantees.
But parenting a child with special needs just wipes me out some days. Many days. I've never written that, but you may have guessed that life isn't all just the fun parts that I've shared. I feel sometimes as if I am a SWAT team member rather than a parent. I recall myself saying today "Julian put down the scissors. Those are very sharp. Juli - no, don't run with them!" I then had to push a table against the wall to corner him and thus retrieve the scissors.
Coming home from visiting Grandpa in the nursing home, Scissors had to carry him into the house like a sack of potatoes as he kicked and screamed not wanting to get out of the car. "Sure Julian, I'll just sit here in the car until you've menaced me enough and then we'll go inside. Or perhaps, I'll leave you in it and you'll knock it into neutral and run it through the garage. No problem," I thought. So ruling out those options as possible ways to cap off the day, I called in Scissors to get him out of the car, hence the kicking and screaming.
The child exhausts himself along with us. It breaks my heart sometimes that life should be so difficult for him. Sometimes it drains every ounce of patience left in my body until I find myself yelling at him.
The other night he put on his pajamas - an every day task for many six year olds, but still difficult for Julian. He did great but the top was uncomfortably backwards and I saw him fidgeting with it. I said, "Oops, looks like your top is backwards. Here, I'll show you a way to fix it without having to take it off," because with Julian it's all or nothing at all.
He said "Oops -mistake," to which I replied "that's okay, I do that all the time. That's why I know how to fix it. I've done that at least a million times!"
He said in an incredulous tone "you make mistakes?"
In that one moment, I just felt what it must feel like for Julian. Every thing is easy for the rest of the world, but difficult for him. I could have imagined this, but he seemed a bit buoyed by my answer, "all the time, that's how I learn to do things."
I also love my kids more than there are grains of sand on the beach and stars in the sky. They seem satisfied with that answer. I'll save my complaints about his sleep problems for another day; I hear him walking around.