The other day fb popped up a photo I hadn’t seen for a while. It was a 6 year old photo of when Mikey first became sick. He was sitting up in his highchair with his little lopsided smile, which at the time, we thought was caused by a stroke. He was out of ICU and had moved onto the ward for rehab.
All the memories came flooding back of the party we had been to the week before. He was a ‘normal’ baby at that party. He actually started crawling too! A week later he would be fighting for his life. It’s amazing how much we take for granted.
Even now 6 years on, I find it hard to comprehend how our lives changed instantly overnight back then. We didn’t know it, but for whatever reason, fate had another road for Mikey to follow, and it wasn’t one of the ‘norm’. It would be a journey of a little boy defying the odds of a seizure syndrome that was only to be managed through brain surgery.
He wasn’t going to hit any of the ‘normal typical’ milestones. He was going to do things in his way, in his time. He was going to teach us, that following the normal life isn’t our path – it wasn’t meant for us, it never was. That being different is such a breath of fresh air! Seeing the world as our boy sees it, is a fresh of breath air. Boy is it.
Yes it’s challenging, it’s scary and it can be hard work but what human on this planet hasn’t had some life challenge that has made them feel this way?
Being different is a wonderful asset in the staid world of normalcy. In fact, the more I discover Mikey’s way of life, and his way of doing things, not to mention the amazing little people in his life, I realise how these kids are here to teach us something. And if we don’t start taking notice, we ‘the normals’, will miss out.
The developments that he is making through his ABI (acquired brain injury) has showed me how is neuro diversity is a gift.
I would never have thought that 6 years ago. I felt it was a curse, that we had done something wrong, he was being punished. There was sorrow and heartache of what we had lost. Society told us that not living a normal life, would be a curse.
They were wrong. It is a blessing.
Whatever challenge your ‘special child’ has, is just that – a challenge. But it doesn’t define them. Their personality will shine through regardless.
One day our culture may catch up to the fact that being different is a gift and that uniqueness is what occurs when something out of this world happens. When you feel all is lost, you have reached the point of no return – then a miracle happens. The darkness starts to lift, you start to feel hope again. There is a breakthrough.
All you have to do is follow your child and they will show you a new way.
That’s what I see now, a new way. And it’s pretty damn great.