It gets easier.
This is something I have been told since the beginning. In regards to motherhood, in regards to home/life balance, but mostly in regards to being the mother of a special needs child. And that’s the one I’m writing about tonight.
It gets easier.
I honestly just want to know when. Because as far as I can tell the dangers and challenges and concerns and worries are all just amplifying with his age. And his progress? Sure there’s some, but it’s no where near where it needs to be to lessen any of these. He’s getting bigger, stronger, moodier, more defiant. His sensory needs are growing, his obsession with specific objects is increasing. I can barely restrain him, and he’s only three.
And what constitutes as easier? Maybe it’s a reduction in behaviors. Possibly a reduced need for mom/dad to shadow him everywhere. Or is it merely just learning how to better cope with existing struggles or avoid them altogether on into adulthood?
For example, I know Lennon obsesses over balloons. He sees one and will do whatever it takes to have it. Today we went to an event, an event with balloon bouquets throughout the space. Lennon bee-lined for the first one. Now, if all he wanted to do was hold or look at the balloon – no worries. But he loves squeezing them, biting them, pressing his face up against them until they pop – so I moved him away from balloon bouquet #1. At this time he quickly moved on to balloon bouquet #2 and #3 and back to #1 and so on and so on, I should also note that only two of these bouquets were on the ground where he could easily reach, the others required climbing on bookshelves and furniture. We left maybe 10 minutes in, I was spent and Lennon was on the brink of a meltdown.
And if it gets easier – what would that look like in this situation?
I really hope it means that someday (soon) Lennon will no longer require the sensory input he finds in a balloon. Or that maybe he’ll seek it in a safer way. Hopefully me denying his climbing, grabbing and biting at the balloons won’t result in kicks, pinches and throwing himself on the ground. What I don’t want it to mean is that we don’t live our lives and RSVP “no” to any events where there could potentially be balloons. Because who wants to live like that?
I looked around the room at the event we were at – the event catered to special needs children and their families. Lennon was definitely one of the youngest in attendance and from my point of view the only one acting out. The other children, mostly in their tweens/teens, were looking at books, playing some of the cool games they had out, chatting with friends and family, or enjoying some treats. There was no one climbing shelves (other than Lennon), there was no one laying on the floor (other than Lennon), there was no one kicking their mother as she tried to hold them (other than Lennon), there was no one that was requiring the confinement of a stroller from time to time (other than Lennon).
I was tearing up as we left, had I been alone I probably would have let it all out once I got to the car, but my dad was with me. This experience was far from his worst behavior, I doubt it even ranked in the top 100 trying days, but for some reason it got to me. There were so many other kids there, just doing their thing. Why does my son need to be so difficult? And if I was having such a difficult time, what feelings might Lennon be having?
Maybe it really does get easier.
But then again, maybe it won’t.