I love being a mom. There are cuddles and kisses and sweet love when those babies are little. I’m not opposed to my babies sleeping in the bed with me. Story will be five and is still firmly planted in my bed every night. As parents we get to shape a human being. That’s a huge responsibility and honor. I didn’t want to be a mom and struggled with the reality that I was gonna be one but truth is, it’s kind of awesome.
My son is thirteen and he comes with his own pros and cons. I assume thirteen always will. He does his own laundry, can babysit his younger sister, weeds, mows, helps out when asked. He also smells like rotting flesh at times and he uses acne products everyday or his skin erupts. He has a nerdy sense of humor and most of the time he’s pretty laid back. He wasn’t always that relaxed but maturity and essential oils keep him fairly balanced. He has had “the talk”. He spends the night with a friend who lives with his female cousin who is Lennon’s age and I took on the responsibility of talking to him last summer bc I wanted him to know, ya know?
Although he is not interested in girls, he is interested in girls. He’s never had a girlfriend but if he did have one she’d be one lucky lady.
My youngest will be five soon and she’s a typical five year old. She is possibly the easiest to please child on earth. Wanna buy her something? You can buy anything, ANYTHING, and she will love it. My little ponies, m&ms, socks, sunglasses, hair bows, Cheetos, a bathing suit. As I write this she is actually playing with ten or so toilet paper rolls and she has been for thirty minutes. She is my last baby and although I need her in school this year for me to run my business she’s staying home bc she’s my last baby. She’s nearly five, there is no “talk” for her. She sees no wrong in nudity. She and her cousin of similar age bathe, swim, and play together without humility. I’m the mom that’s always said, “yeah. Everyone gets naked, who cares?” at this age. If you make it dirty, it’s dirty. I’ve let her, as I did the other two, have time to play and be little. It’s fleeting.
My middle child….sigh……
I know there are ages that are harder and we as parents hang our heads and wonder where to go next. We pray that our children will seek Gods will. We hope they take our advice and listen to our past mistakes and learn from them. What can I say? Sometimes you know this child is going to suck my soul out. She’s difficult. She is medically not the same as everyone else. She’s on the spectrum and that complicates things. She has Tourette’s syndrome. She doesn’t care to be dirty…for days….until I demand she bathe. She doesn’t mind not combing her naturally curly hair for a week…until I loose my mind. She doesn’t like to be touched or hugged or shown affection. The picture with this piece is of her dressed as a weeping angel from Dr Who and I had to do the body paint. She wasn’t happy about that at all.
I have a friend who’s child is also on the spectrum and we ask each other over and over, “what happens during puberty? What happens? Will they marry someone? How will we help them? Will they be independent?” I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have that friend who doesn’t think I’m heartless when I vent over Drew forgetting what drawer her socks are in…again.
So I’m writing this to ask you that if you have a child who maybe isn’t “normal” it’s hard isn’t it? It never gets easier does it? There are days I know you want to slam your head into a wall and sob. People judge you and that child as though they are on everyone else’s standard and they just aren’t and they never will be. I’m sending prayers to y’all right now. I’m sending so much love your way. Life is so hard without this added complication. Don’t get me wrong, I love that child. She’s given all she needs to flourish. She’s artsy and we buy art supplies in excess for her. She needs quiet and although our youngest needs to share a bedroom with her we don’t do that bc we understand her need to be alone sometimes. She is creative and smart and she tries so hard at school. She also has a boyfriend which terrifies me. She can’t possibly understand boys and their intentions. She can’t see the damage they can do.
Today after a look at her kindles browser history I had “the talk” with her. It had to happen. I thought she was too young. Clearly that was not true. She had questions she won’t ask. She shies away from me anytime she is naked. She’s embarrassed. Now I’m sitting at my desk wondering how much she understood. With a child such as Drew to cover the basic info you have to go around the corner and in the side door of her brain. You can’t just tell her the truth and it be easy. Maybe a better way to put this is to say, easy to her isn’t easy to me and vice versa. I’ve bought the books for me. I’ve given her the books for her. I’ve talked to other moms in similar situations.
My husband and I have discussed what to do multiple times. We just do our best. She’s grounded until further notice by the way.
All in all I want you, the reader, to know if you are sitting there reading this and struggling as a parent that we all are. Even in the best of times it’s not easy, even when the child is “normal” it’s still difficult. All we can do is pray and do our best to be examples to them.
And to have super embarrassing conversations about marital relations. We have to do that too.