God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family.

Friday, February 4, 2011

As Brenden's 3rd birthday is quickly approaching, I have had so much time to reflect on just how far we have come. Brenden turning 3 brings about a lot of change for him and for me. We will soon be saying good bye to an amazing team of therapists, but most importantly friends. I'm having a really difficult time accepting that he will be in the hands of a 'stranger' for the first time. Ever. I know what he likes. I know what upsets him and how to calm him down. I know that when he's standing at the table I need to be right there in case his knees give out and he falls. I know how to push him and not let him get lazy. But most of all I know that when he's home with me, he's safe. Safe from hurtful words or stares from another child. Safe from places and situations that aren't special needs friendly.
In all honesty I think 3 is way too early for a child to start school. But there is no way we can afford all the therapy that the school system will provide, so we are really left with no other choice. It terrifies me that I will drop Brenden off on his first day and he will be lost. That he won't understand why all of a sudden he's in this new place with new people. That he will cry when I leave and they won't be able to get him calmed down. But I know he needs this. He loves being around other kids and I know he will benefit from it. I know he will come home each day and tell me what all the other kids said and did. I know that letting go is part of a child growing up, I just wish it wasn't happening so soon.
Three years ago I was told my child probably would never walk. Last year at his birthday party I said that it was our goal for him to walk at his next birthday party. Yesterday I sat on the couch while he used his walker to walk back and forth from the kitchen. He is still a little uncoordinated, but he can push his walker himself now. We still have the push bar attached because he's not completely independent yet, but he's getting very close. He also likes to do tricks that could end in disaster, so for now, he sometimes still needs someone behind the walker. He's getting much better pulling up at the furniture. Jonathan and I are still sometimes caught off guard when we look over or enter the room and see him standing up. He's also starting to get a bit too brave for my liking....though only for a split second, he is starting to let go of the furniture or walker.
Madelynn has also reached a new milestone, I suppose. She has learned how to climb on furniture. And she thinks it's funny to stand up on the furniture. And of course, she's already fallen a few (ok, several) times and cracked her head on the floor. Sometimes tears, sometimes laughs, but she hops up and does it again, turning around to smile at me because she knows she's doing something wrong. But you know, I never take for granted that she's climbing on the furniture. I praise God each day that she has the ability to walk, climb, run. I truly believe that her mobility and independence has been a huge motivator for Brenden. While I'm excited and scared for Brenden to start school, I am looking forward to the few hours I will get with Madelynn each day. I always feel so guilty when we leave her behind for Brenden's doctor's appointments or therapy sessions, so this will be a great opportunity for me to get alone time with her. I'm hoping to work things out to get her in swim lessons shortly after he starts school and she loves the water so it will be fun for both of us.


Cassie said...

He is going to do great at school. I remember all of those fears when Caleb started school at age 3. I was so worried about him, but he did amazing. It was an adjustment at first (for us both) but he really flourished and learned so much. His independence and confidence grew. He is in kindergarten now and I think going to school at age 3 and getting 2 years under his belt has helped him tremendously with kindergarten.

Anonymous said...

Time goes by so quickly. We have no doubts that Brenden will adjust immediately. I am not so sure about Dad & Mom. We pray for all four of you