I’m a Super (Sensitive) Mom

I recently attended Carter’s IEP meeting. Anyone with a special needs child in school knows what that is. Basically it’s when you meet with the people involved in your child’s education and go over their goals and how they will reach them. The IEP addresses their strengths and weaknesses.
Usually when I attend an IEP meeting I get incredibly emotional. I mean, there you are talking about your child’s vulnerabilities. What he can’t do that other kids his age can. It’s a punch in the gut. A knock of reality in case you didn’t have enough of that everyday. My eyes water with sadness.
There’s happy tears sometimes too. When people talk about how happy Carter is. How much he loves school and how he’s always smiling. They talk about his progress and no matter how small the steps I feel proud. I realize how far Carter has come but then I realize how much more work and progress is needed. It’s exhausting. To call this an emotional roller coaster is a good comparison. The ups and downs. Getting jerked around. The different feelings of dread or fear or excitement.
With Carter I get a lot of different feelings – Happiness, sadness, pride, disappointment, fear, doubt, love, bitterness, acceptance and excitement. Just like a roller coaster has a ton of movements, there’s also the stillness. The time when you actually think. When you get inside your own head and evaluate. It’s almost like the feeling you get going up the coaster. You go up the track slowly, hearing the click of the cart on the track. There’s the pause right before the drop. You get the butterflies in your stomach and the lump in your throat. That’s the thinking time.  I think to myself, really taking in the reality of our lives.
My son is autistic. That means he is behind his peers. That means a lot of unknowns. When will he talk? When will he understand certain things? Will he ever be able to read? When will he tie his own shoes? Will he have friends? Will he ever fall in love? Will he go to college? Drive a car? Cook a meal? When will I stop worrying about him?
I guess as a parent I already know the answer to that last one. Never. I’ll never stop worrying. That’s what being a mom is. But being the mom of a special needs child means my emotions have become heightened.  They are much more dramatic. I’m so much more sensitive and overprotective. I never want him to seem or feel different but the truth is he is different. And that’s OK to some degree. But I still want him to be the same as other boys in other ways.
I want him to be interested in some superhero and pretend to go around saving people. I want him to play sports with his dad. To go to the park and throw the ball around together. I want him to get excited when the Saints score a touchdown. It would be amazing for him to read me a story like my first graders do in my classroom. To draw a funny picture and write I Love You on it. And as much as I get away with hearing this, I would love for him to tell me what he wants at the store. Or for his birthday. I really just want for him to tell me anything. To hear his voice. To hear what he wants and what he’s thinking.
These are all of the things that make me a super sensitive mom. Of course it’s not all sadness.
This totally warms my heart.  The kids playing with Carter. He’s much more social now. He loves for the kids to chase him around. Now instead of sitting in a corner by himself watching what goes on around him, he’s in the middle of what’s going on. He’s laughing with the kids, running and jumping around with them. That’s a big step. Major progress. And that deserves the happy tears. So, enough of all that sadness.  ☺


2 thoughts on “I’m a Super (Sensitive) Mom”

  1. He will get there…. He will speak…. He will ask for what he wants…. He will tell you his secrets… In his own time. But he will!! I know how you feel… And just when you stop thinking when, it will happen!!
    It’s just going to take him longer… 😉
    You all are always on my mind.
    Your friend,


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