You know “that kid” that always says hey to everyone and tries to be friends with everyone? You know the one… they remember names REALLY well and they try to talk to people when they sometimes just want to do their day and not talk? They ask a lot of questions and they don’t really mean any harm, but they sometimes don’t know when enough is enough. The can kind of make you feel a little awkward and you may even try to avoid them because they are just a little overwhelming. You know the ones?
Well, I am the mom of one of those kids.
She is so sweet and she’s really funny if people were to get to know her, but she sometimes overwhelms those people from the get-go. She asks questions that are not always relevant and so she sometimes makes her peers (and some adults) want to go in the other direction, and to be honest, who can blame them!?
Believe me! We talk and explain and encourage and try so hard to make her understand peer and personal boundaries. It’s just that in her mind she WILL be nice to you by talking to you (no matter if she has to make up a topic to discuss)! She WILL understand why you are carrying that book bag, have that bandage on your knee or need to go to the health room. She WILL say “hi” because that’s what friends do.
Honestly, as the mom of one of those kids it’s hard to watch.
We are REALLY realistic at our house. We call a spade a spade and we are not blind to the issues that our daughter has. We LOVE her so much and we try really hard to help her be all that God has intended her to be. We talk, talk, talk about the importance of personal space, both physically and conversationally. We really try, but in the end she is who God made her to be and we can’t change her. We pray for maturity and for growth in all areas just like any other parent. We give direction and we coach her all that we can, but she’s not with us 24/7 and so somehow there’s going to have to be a level of letting go.
When you have a kid with special needs your dreams for that kid change. Before we had her we were talking about saving for college and how she’d love to play softball or be a gymnast. We made plans for how life with a kid might be, and those things have not happened. Now, we pray that she’ll one day be able to be independent and possibly live in a group home or have room mates that can all help one another. We pray that she might have a skill and have a job that would help her feel a sense of accomplishment in this life. There’s just a more realistic plan that comes into view when you realize that the path that you are on is different than the one you thought you might travel and so it takes some adjusting along the way.
Let me be clear. WE are SOOO proud of our girl. She makes us laugh every single day. I am honored that God entrusted her to us!! I am proud of her abilities and the fact that she WILL be kind to you whether you are kind in return or not. We have learned so much from her and I would not trade our life for one minute.
It just hurts my heart to see the reaction of others because she doesn’t sense when she needs to stand back. She doesn’t have the ability to read when someone needs space. How I wish I could put a little sensor in her ear that said, “Not this time, honey. Just keep walking.”
It’s in these times that my mama heart hurts, but also has to trust that God made her the way that He did and He knows what He’s doing. He can and will be that still small voice that will lead her and use her to be an encouragement when maybe no one else will. He has a plan for this life… otherwise He would not have created it.. and so I have to trust that HIS plan is perfect and that the road we are traveling is the one that He intended us to travel. He does not make mistakes and so I am the mom of this kid and I am proud of it!