Don’t get me wrong. We have a pretty good life, but it is definitely not “picture perfect”. In most situations, I tend to be an optimistic person. I just know that through experience and observation that it is easier to get through the tough times by making the best of what life throws at you. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have bad days, cry or even get angry.
Most people think that Emmett is always happy. When we are out, he is normally pretty happy, but he often times gets really frustrated at home or even if we are out and he is ready to be somewhere else. He is constantly asking to “go” with his pictures or by bringing us our coats or shoes. He gets especially mad if his dad and his brother leave and they don’t take him too! He also cries almost every weekday morning, when he realizes that his dad has already left for work, even though this has been the case for his entire life! We can normally work through it, but it can be exhausting at times. Although his communication skills have improved, it is hard for us, as parents, not knowing for sure what Emmett wants and I’m sure it is equally frustrating for him.
Emmett’s not the only one that has “not so happy” moments. We all do! Mine tend to sneak up on me when I least expect it. Sometimes when I’m watching other children play, I can’t help, but get a little sad. Even some toddlers are doing things that Emmett still can’t do. A few weeks ago, I was going through the boys’ toys to donate and started tearing up. Not because I didn’t want to part with them, but because Emmett never played with them. There are so many toys that I’ve held onto in hopes that Emmett would show interest in, but even at 7 years old, no toy holds his interest for more than a few minutes. Is that something to cry about? Probably not. But it does make me a little sad that he doesn't take joy in playing and pretending like other children. It clearly doesn't bother him, but it sure would be nice to say, "why don't you go play Legos with your brother?" Oh, wait, did I mention that Emmett also puts everything in his mouth? Okay, maybe the Duplo blocks are a better idea. Either way, he is not interested. I know that this can be hard for Corbin too because most children can play and pretend with their siblings for hours. He never really complains about it, but he definitely asks us to play with him a lot and often wants to have friends over to play, so I do feel like he misses out on some things.
Thankfully, Corbin currently seems fairly unfazed by the fact that his little brother is different. He may get a little annoyed when Emmett tears something up, chews on his toys, or is crying really loud, but for the most part, he is really good with him. He has also had to learn to be more patient because Emmett requires more help and doesn’t do things very quickly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is definitely a reality. We try to keep a balance, but there are times that I have to miss things with Corbin because Emmett has an appointment or just doesn’t do well in some situations. I guess that can happen anytime you have more than one child, but that doesn’t keep me from feeling bad about it. However, this year, between his stomach problems and breaking his arm, Corbin has gotten a lot more one on one time. He even tied with Emmett for the number of times that he's been to the to the ER! We definitely don’t want to have a tie breaker anytime soon! Corbin is normally our "healthy one", so it was really strange taking him to so many appointments and seeing him go through so many tests and X-rays. He was a pretty good patient, but he was definitely nervous.
Although Corbin is usually well behaved and is really good with Emmett, he still has rough days, makes mistakes, and disagrees with us about some of our rules and expectations. We don't expect him to be perfect and thankfully, he doesn't expect us to be perfect either.
The truth is, no one's life is "picture perfect" and by now, I have hopefully convinced you that despite my positive posts, we aren’t always happy. I’d like to explain why it has taken me so long to write a new blog post. I actually had the idea for this post several months ago, but every time I tried to write it, I couldn’t quite find the words. Even now, I feel a little guilty writing about our struggles. Not because they aren’t real, but because it could be so much worse!
I know of families that have gone through so much more than we have, but continue to keep a positive attitude and never give up. Some have children that have spent weeks or even months in the hospital. Others have been investigated or have even had their children taken away from them, when they were simply trying to get them the medical help they need. Another family is mourning the loss of a seemingly healthy child that unexpectedly passed away in her sleep.
We all have our struggles, but when I hear about what others have been through, it really puts things in perspective. Having a child with special needs is not easy, but we have so much to be thankful for. So, when you see those happy faces on my blog or social media, please know that I’m not trying to create a false sense of reality, I’m simply trying to spread a little happiness in an often not so happy world. I’m choosing to focus on the good and I hope that by doing so, I’m helping others do the same.
Here are just a couple examples of our "not so happy moments"
Emmett upset when he found out his school was closed for the day
Corbin waiting to get his arm examined