Friday, May 6, 2016

"He's a Handful!"

I was doing my weekly (more like daily) grocery shopping the other day, and I had an interesting conversation with one of the cashiers. I've been taking Camden to this store with me since he was a baby. I'm in there quite a bit because I can't seem to get everything I need in one trip. I'm a forgetful person. Most of the employees there have seen Camden grow up over the past 3 years. I was at the store alone and this particular cashier happened to notice that.

Cashier"Where is your youngest today?"
Me:   "He goes to preschool in the mornings now."
Cashier:  "Oh, that's nice. That gives you a break."
Me:  "Yea, it's always nice when you can go grocery shopping alone."
Cashier:  "But it's different for you. I'm so happy he's in school now so you can get a break."
Me:  "I think every mom enjoys a little time to herself."  (At this point I'm trying to end the conversation.)
Cashier:  "He's a handful, though. It's a lot of work for you. Those kids with special needs are a handful."
Me:  I'm just staring at her at this point.
Cashier:  "Is he in the special education preschool program at school?"
Me:  "Yep. He'll go there from 3-5 years old."
Cashier:  "Oh, that's great! He needs to go there. There's NO way he could go to school with regular kids. He can't keep up with them. He needs to be in special education until he graduates. They have that, you know."
Me:   "Well, I don't know what the future holds, but I hope he can go to school with his typical peers.

Then the conversation ended. I think she looked at me like I had two heads growing out of my body. She kept repeating how much of a handful Camden was. I was confused at this the most because Camden is one of the most well behaved toddlers in the store. He just sits in the basket like he's supposed to, smiles, and goes with the flow. He's always been like that. I have actually received comments from other cashiers about how well he acts. I guess she was just under the assumption that he's a handful because he has special needs.

Once he's home though, it's a different story! The boy is more than a handful!

Monday, March 28, 2016

For This Child I Prayed

For this child I prayed; and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of him. - 1Samuel 1:27

I'm sure many of you have seen this verse. I see it quoted often when parents post pictures of their kiddos or I see it embroidered and engraved on certain things. I was thinking of this verse on my drive home from dinner the other night and it really resonated with me.

After Carter was born, I knew that he would be my only child. My husband and I talked about it, and we both decided that we would have one child because I already had two amazing step sons. Once Carter tuned a year old, I knew that I wanted more. I wanted a sibling close to Carter's age. His older brothers were fantastic, but he hardly saw them. I felt that our family was incomplete. I didn't know what to do because my hubby had made it clear that he only wanted to have one. I wasn't going to trick him or beg him. Instead, I prayed. I prayed every single day for almost a year. I prayed that God would change my husband's heart and that he would decide he wanted another baby. I never brought it up to my husband. I just silently prayed about it. Was I being selfish? Maybe. At the time it's what I wanted in my heart. Then, one day at dinner I felt like it was the right time to bring it up. I calmly asked him what he thought about having another child. There was a bit of silence, and then he said that he wanted another one as well. I can't tell you how happy I was. I didn't waste any time and we began to try for our second child.

It's no secret that it was a rough couple of months after Camden was born. It was hard enough to be on bed rest for 3 weeks in the hospital and then to have him come at 30 weeks. That was beyond stressful and challenging. I didn't know that he would be born with Down syndrome. That's when my world was turned upside down. I admit that I was a terrible mom and had unthinkable feelings toward my child. Many of you know that. Here is this child that I prayed for every single day and then when he came, I actually thought I didn't want him anymore. I didn't feel close to him. I wanted my perfect son. I wanted a normal baby. How was I going to take care of this child when I couldn't even control my own thoughts and emotions? I won't go into all the details of those first few months. I wrote so many posts about my feelings in the beginning and how I finally got over them. I don't really want to go back there. In fact, I haven't even thought about those days in a long time until recently.

It's hard for me to believe that Camden is 3 years old. Those years went by so fast. The beginning days are almost a blur to me now. Sometimes I am in shock of how I felt back then. I look at my son now and see the most beautiful little human being. I couldn't imaging him any other way. His smile lights up the room and can instantly make your day better. His personality is the best. He's funny, smart and loving. He's also a typical toddler that LOVES to make a mess. He has the cutest temper tantrums and he makes it very difficult to get mad at him for anything. Do I want to take away the struggles that come with that extra chromosome? Sure. Do I wish that society was more accepting and could see Camden how I see him? Absolutely.

Would I want to change him? Never.

I prayed for him, and I am so incredibly lucky to call him my son.