Monday, April 25, 2011

Overdue Recognitions

This blog is dedicated to the unsung heroes, the everyday people who silently do great things behind the front lines without expecting recognition. In my house, that would be my husband and my middle son.

Because I am so open here and on other forums about my children's special needs and our crazy daily schedules, I get a lot of nice compliments along the lines of, "You are a wonderful mother" or "I don't know how you do it."

This is how I do it- I have, thanks to my husband, been able to dedicate 99 percent of my mental and physical energies to the care of these kids. We function as a family because I am not worrying about cleaning the house or cooking dinner while I shuffle the kids to therapies or medical appointments. If dinner does happen, it is usually via the crock pot, but if it doesn't, no one complains. I am also able to mentally "check out" a few times a week to listen to music, go to a movie, get coffee with a friend or read. My husband understands that these things are necessary. Sometimes, even after working a full day at the office, he allows me to relax while he makes dinner or, better yet, takes all three of the kids out so I can have a quiet house for an hour or two. He also takes his turn with some of the medical necessities, taking our oldest to the psychiatrist, doling out the line of medicines to everyone in the mornings, or taking kids to urgent care when the unexpected happens. He lets me sleep in some Saturdays, even though he is exhausted, too. He helps motivate our toddler with feeding issues to eat, while silently suffering with a swallowing disorder of his own. He does all of this and doesn't talk about it much or expect anyone to sing his praises.

Following in these footsteps is our six year old, positioned in-between two special needs siblings. Somehow, in the blur of our days, he learned to read, write and make sandwiches. He quietly gathers homework items for my oldest, who is unorganized and easily overwhelmed. He hands me wipes and blankets when my youngest refluxes or cries. He opens doors when I am pushing a stroller. He even offers to carry the diaper bag. He wordlessly folds a basket of laundry when I am so tired all I can do is stare at the walls. He has learned by example that creating order in simple things makes the huge issues of life feel lighter. He appreciates someone noticing his skills, but doesn't demand that you do.

I am immensely proud of these two guys for the way they help balance our intricate family life. I literally could not do it without them, and I hope they know how much they are loved.