What I learned from my son

Since he was very young, there has always been something about the way my Baby Bear lines up his cars, counts his blocks and just cannot step away from a task that has bothered me. I recognized the signs. I grew up with it. But I pushed it out of my mind because I did not want it to be there. It is something I am powerless before. And it affects my little boy.

The little boy who walks quietly into our room at night to burrow under the blankets at our feet. He feels safest there, coddled under the covers. Even in his own bed, he prefers to sleep with the covers over his head. The little boy who tells me that I am a wonderful mommy, that I’m really neat and that he is so glad that I’m his mommy. The little boy who loves to help, loves to snuggle and loves to be read to.

My little boy.

When he began licking his hands, somehow my mental defenses were penetrated. This was too far outside the range of “normal” to pass off as a unique quirk. The licking became almost constant. First the right hand, then the left. Touch something. Lick. Touch something. Lick. Yes, this is what I grew up with. My brother, upon passing through a threshold would drop to the ground and lick the carpet. He licked the walls. He touched everything. First the right hand. Then the left.

So what have I learned from all this?

    That a good many things look entirely different when they affect your son as opposed to your brother.
    That strangers are quick to give advice on matters they know little about.
    That even friends are quick to give advice when what you really want is just someone to talk to.
    That there are no hard and fast rules in parenting.
    That a two year old can accept her brother just as he is and not notice that something is wrong.
    That no matter how much I love that little boy and that little hand, when the saliva soaked fingers reach for mine, I instinctively pull away.
    That there are few things I am more thankful for than the fact that this reaction, coupled with a funny face and an exaggerated, “Eeww! ” will make the little boy giggle and throw his arms around me. Because if there were anything I could take away, even if it included this behavior, it would be that I ever pulled away from my son’s spontaneous affections.
    That when my little boy looks forward to a doctor’s appointment because he is hoping the doctor can help him stop, I would move heaven and earth to make that happen. But I can’t.

I cannot help but think of all the conversations I have had with people accusing homeschoolers of being “weird.” Yes, my son is “weird.” And I am hoping that through homeschooling we will be abe to spare him the trauma of what children do to those who are different. Instead, he can learn that he is special, a unique and wonderful creation of God. He can learn that he is valuable and that he is loved. The rest will come, of course. But these things I would like him to learn first.

(This entry was in response to Middle Zone Musings’ writing prompt, What I learned from…)


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30 Comments on "What I learned from my son"

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skdenfeld
Guest

I just wanted to tell you what a lovely post that was. It put me at a loss for words. My seven year old from time to time has had to deal with tics and though I don’t know exactly what this is like for your family, it was obvious that the words you penned were directly from the heart of a mother who loves her son.

Thank you for sharing

Kathi

Life On The Planet
Guest

I know exactly what you mean. I have a child with PDD-NOS and a child with PANDAS. Homeschooling has enabled them to flourish.

Robert Hruzek
Guest

Dana, thank you for sharing something so obviously personal and from the heart! It takes a brave person to move forward through trials, when sometimes all we want to do is curl up and hide.

Thanks for joining this month’s group writing project!

Cheers!

Marn
Guest

Lovely post Dana! Out of the abundant of the heart, the mouth speaks!

Renae
Guest

As I read this tears pooled in my eyes. You captured a mother’s heart full of hope and fear and promise.

Yes, your son is valuable and loved more than words can express. Thank God he has that powerful foundation. He will be an overcomer, and God will receive the glory for creating a wonderfully, unique little boy.

Thank you for sharing this glimpse of your heart. May peace overshadow you. You are still in my prayers.

Mrs. Mecomber
Guest
My son, now a teenager, was very obsessive as a little boy with “weird” behavior, too. One person called him “autistic” because he was so self-absorbed and obsessive. He is now more moderate, but still obsessive. He is not autistic and I’ve had to forgive the person who called him this. Thank God the label did not stick. People can be so judgmental about things they know nothing about, and it is easy for a sensitive parent to feel insecure because of this. God gives us the children we have for a reason, I believe. Not every ailment or difficulty… Read more »
Linda
Guest

Dana,
Thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself with your readers! It took guts to get so personal and so real. So many children like your son are able to reach their potential at home with people who really know and understand them fully. He will overcome! I hope I’m still reading your blog years from now when you’re bragging about how well your son has done taught at home!

Jennifer in OR
Guest

Dana, thank you for this honest and tender post.

Dana
Guest

Thank you, everyone, for your kind word. I really appreciate them. Thankfully, we have a very good pediatrician and we are hoping that he may just grow out of it. For the moment, the doctor is thinking it is more of a sensory thing, especially given how much he loves snuggling, baths, soft things, etc.

He is a sweet little, guy.

Anna-Marie
Guest
Dana, Dana, what a gift your son is. And to think God sent him to you. You are a blessed mama! There is nothing like an unexpected kiss from your son. It moves me to tears when my 3yo surprises me with love and kisses. I think it’s really God showing me how much He loves me. My 9dd has moderate eczema and scratches constantly. There is never an hour of her day that she does not feel itchy and that really bothers me. I want her to feel peaceful. I know what you mean about the doctor visits. I’m… Read more »
Dana
Guest

Thank you, Anna-Marie…and it has been a long time since you called me Dana Dana. Or was it Danana? I forget now.

Anyway, would you believe the poor guy has eczema, too? That is not good considering how much he loves baths and particularly bubble baths! His is mild, however, and otc creams help. We have also found he can handle baby shampoo for bubbles, which is nice.

Rebecca
Guest

Dana,
I’ll add my appreciation for such a heartfelt post. I can relate as my dd has some “weird” behaviors too (licking, chewing, etc.)

BTW My youngest has had eczema which recently cleared up entirely … we found that pure cocoa butter was *very* effective in relieving it.

Julie@Shanan Trail
Guest

Dana, We have not escaped the desire to socialize our children and have them to act “normal” in our world. Yet God… created all kinds of brains. Luckily, you have the best parenting book out there! “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

You are already equipped for the good work of parenting Baby Bear!

Tracey Huguley
Guest

Wow….Dana you’re comment touched my heart…..I’m a homeschooler of 3 kids….

Keep the faith and keep loving….

Hugs,
Tracey Huguley
traceyhuguley.blogspot.com

Barbara Frank
Guest

SO well put. I like to believe homeschooling has been a blessing to all my children, but I know it’s been a blessing to the one with Down syndrome. All he’s ever known is love.

Your son will do well with you as his mom.

Dana
Guest

Yahoo must be overwhelmed because I missed these last three…

Thank you all for your kind words, and of course you are right, Julie.

Barbara, when you have a child with “special needs” it does bring a different perspective on the socialization question, doesn’t it?

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