I was out with some friends recently, and they always seem to believe that I have the answers or that I just don’t want to hold on as tight to my son. No, it isn’t that. It is more I want to allow myself to let go and allow my son to spread his wings. One said you are way better at letting go then I am. I don’t believe I am good at letting go, but there are a few things I do know.
1. I know that I want him to be as successful as possible. If I hold on and try to protect him and not allow him to learn from his own mistakes won’t I hinder him?
2. I know I cannot protect my typical developing son, so why do I believe I can protect my son with special needs anymore then the other.
3. I am scared to let go! But, to see him fly is one of the best blessings I could ever ask for.
4. Some times to let go I have to close my eyes and not watch or walk away, because to see the failure or the fall will break my heart.
There are days I feel like a mean parent and I feel my expectations for my son might be overboard, but when he reaches those expectations then what am I left to do, but to raise them again.
Yaakov was placed in Special Day Class-Learning Handicapped in Kindergarten and at one time I believe it was the teachers who set those goals for my son. I felt like I failed as a mother because he was a special ed student and my struggles in school must have ruined my kid. Those fears were real, and though I questioned that he would ever read. I trusted his teachers and took him to his therapies and saw him blossoming. Then it was time to raise the bar, move him into more mainstream. Keep him in mainstream sports and so on. Sure, I saw he was different and if people asked I explained I didn’t try to hide who he was. Was I scared people wouldn’t accept him, MOST DIFFERENTLY. But, I knew they would be missing out on all the things he has to offer to the world. Soon, academically he moved to mainstream and was later placed in to the Magnetic Program in middle school where we have seen major growth.
Last week, he was struggling with the science teacher still not at the point where he can confront the teacher he didn’t want my help instead he went to the behaviorist who works in the magnetic program and asked for their help. If I hadn’t stepped back as his mother or pushed him to more independent he would have never hit this expedition of ours and when he hits the work and college world in seven short years then it just maybe too late.
“Mom, I want to go down that hill” Watching my youngest son at the top of a muddy hill on his new mountain bike we had just spent 10 minutes climbing that hill. His older brother is telling me to tell him no and the fear of watching him fall and getting hurt is just about to move me to say no you cannot go down. When his father yells from the bottom of the hill, “this isn’t a good hill for a new rider to go down.” The older one still telling me say no. I look at my baby and say you are old enough to make the choice you know you can fall and get hurt. Do you want to go down?” Yes! I take a deep breath and say then go.” As I watch him head down the hill I close my eyes for a second or two because I know I will see him fall and I open them and watch him descend down the hill stopping next to his dad. Next his brother and I go down and as I hit the bottom. My baby or should I say my boy, says loudly I did it!