I’m processing. I’m being really really honest here. We aren’t Pollyanna’s here – we don’t do trite, this is probably as far from idealistic as I will ever admit to being.
I have one of the worst jobs on the planet to have while pregnant. Early on, there were just a couple of people at work who seemed to understand that. Most people when they hear I’m a special ed teacher and I express my concern over having a special ed kid go “ooooh but you’d know what to expect.”
Yeah, exactly. I’d know what to expect. I know all about the preschool like tantrums thrown by teenagers, I know all about the bruises on the teachers from having to restrain students, I know about the constant snot, the never quite toilet trained 100%, the gross dry desert lizard skin, the verbal outbursts, the booger eating, the bizarre vocalizations, the drooling, the seizures, the bad teeth, the feeding tubes, the failure to communicate, the constant head bobbing or tapping of hands or feet, the outright refusal to move, the social ineptness. Let’s get more honest – these kids often aren’t attractive, then they sometimes get really obese on top of not being attractive to begin with.
I know these things would never really get better, these kids will never be independent, they will never live alone, they will never sit and share stories about crazy shit they did in college, they won’t get married, have kids …. Meanwhile, as much as we all think about having kids, we also think about ourselves – we still want our me time, our we time, we don’t want to be 24 hour caregivers until we die.
I’ve seen children who can’t move on their own, can’t communicate much at all, and can’t eat on their own. Every time I work with a child like this, the song “Pets” goes through my head – you know the one “They’ll make great pets, they’ll make great pets” etc etc. I’m not proud of this, but there it is. I’ve seen parents and grandparents come in with their child pet and it’s sad. And I don’t mean to say these parents are doing a thing uncalled for – they love their child pet just like we love our Rolli, Tavish, Winston, Fran …. all of our pets who we cherish and adore and feed and spoil. These people are doing the very best they can, don’t get me wrong. I mean, I love my cat, but I want a child, not a pet. I look at these children and I feel like somehow we’ve trapped their soul inside this body that wasn’t meant to stay here.
I think about Alex and the unknowns that still haven’t worked themselves out. I’m still on conditional love status. I feel him move and I think “I love my boy”. And then I realize that I love an idea. I love this vision of this boy growing inside me, causing me pain, giving me stretch marks and mega boobs. I have conditions on this right now. I have played the game with God of “I can totally handle learning disability, language disorder, hearing loss… there’s a whole bunch of things I can handle, so if you need to give me some kind of burden to carry, any one of those will do – just don’t give me more than I want to handle”.
See that, “more than I want to handle”. How’s that for an honest statement? I don’t want to find out how much I can handle, to hell with that, I’ll put the limitations on what I can handle and you just stick with that God okay? Cuz you know crappy things never happen to us right?
Pausing while y’all laugh your asses off as you think about a broken neck, a two year old with leukemia, a dash of colitis, never knowing your father, wishing you didn’t know your father …..
And then I take all of this and contrast it with Laura’s boy dying the week before he was supposed to be born. Which is a whole other hell that I try to not spend too much time thinking about. Which is the blessing? Which is better? Which would fit more nicely into “what I want to handle”
Where in the hell are the adults who are supposed to be in charge?