I could write about the event I went to this weekend and how seeing hundreds of ‘normal’ happy children takes a lot out of me. How I had to text Jamie a few times for support and yet again realized how alone I am in my feelings about Cooper’s future. He will never feel how I feel about our situation. And I will never feel how he feels. Maybe its a man/woman thing. Or an outlook on life thing. I guess I don’t know. But I do know that it’s so dang lonely.
Or I could write about the whining that is getting worse every single day. Now granted we all sick so that doesn’t help but it’s almost too much to handle. Coops will see his Leap Pad hidden on top of the fridge or he will want a different cartoon on. Or I filled the wrong cup with milk or his train fell off the track. Whatever is may be. It could by anything. But, it’s loud and extremely wearing.
Or I could write about how when Cooper’s plays trains my heart nearly bursts with love. His joy is infectious.
After saying all that I decided I wanted to write about expectations and acceptance.
My sister has told me numerous times throughout my life that my expectations are too high when it comes to certain subjects. I need to lower them. And, she is definitely right about that. I think that is part of growing older and maturing. You need to learn to accept people for who they are and realize it is what it is.
At some point, I may (must) have to lower my expectations about Cooper’s future. I’ve watched hundreds of videos on YouTube and Facebook of kids with Apraxia. When I first started watching them my heart broke with every word. I will honestly say tears fell with almost every video. Most of the kiddos were struggling to make simple sounds. I could usually understand around half of what they were saying. They sounded odd. (Many kids with Apraxia sound like they have accents.) I would email them to Jamie and beg him to watch. And then I would wait for his reaction.
The videos all had one common theme. HAPPY parents and PROUD kids. The moms and dads would be beaming about the words. They would be almost giddy. The kids would be so excited that they were speaking and being understood. There was no sadness. So why was I crying?
I remember thinking, ‘oh my God. Is that Cooper’s future? Why are those parent’s so happy?’ I didn’t get it at the time. I was too new to this process. I still ‘expected‘ this to turn out fine. I thought at the time, ‘I’d rather he didn’t speak than sound special.’ If he sounds like that he will be teased and bullied. What kind of future would he have? I stopped seeking out those videos for a long time. Almost a year I guess. How silly of me.
Now, I get it. Shame on me. Those mama’s prayed for words. Just like me they begged and bargained and hoped and prayed. They lost sleep at night with the worry. And just like me they ran themselves ragged with therapy and appointments.
So, when their kids started talking it didn’t matter what they sounded like. Because they were communicating. I get it now. Those kids had something to say and they were excited to say it. What I wouldn’t give for that moment and to be able to make a video of Cooper’s words.
Although Cooper hasn’t been diagnosed with Apraxia yet, I think I need to lower my expectations. And that is a tough pill to swallow.