I know, you saw us again, him being challenging, me obviously been a bad parent, because surely only a bad parent would put up with being hit, kicked and called ‘stupid’, ‘big idiot’ and whatever other insult he was throwing out. And I know that you always see us like this; it’s kind of the peril of living opposite the end of our road… you see us at some of our worst moments. when I am insisting that we need to be out.
What you didn’t see was the amazing way that he held himself together at one of his most difficult times of the year. What you didn’t see was the anxiety and worry and stress that suddenly broke out. What you didn’t see was the boy who coped with two days pre-Christmas, Christmas day and Boxing day with only one major melt down (late on on Christmas day). What you didn’t see was the amazing progress our boy has made.
What you didn’t see was the immense way that he coped at school for the last two weeks, when his routine was shot, mostly to ease his little brother’s life.
What you didn’t see was him joining in with the party games at the annual Christmas Eve party; and the delight from those who attend each year, in sharing how well he had coped, how much he has progressed.
What you didn’t see was the patient way he coped with having to wait to open presents on Christmas day, first so his grandparents could come and see them open them. And then later waiting until his Great Grandmother could see him open his presents.
What you didn’t see was the way he coped with going to see his cousins on boxing day and let them play with him (without him controlling them). You didn’t see the way he made sure that when he felt wobbly he came and grounded himself; ‘Mummy, I need a hug, I need a tight hug’.
What you didn’t see was the fear. That we might not remember him. That presents might mean he was moving. That everyone keep telling him Santa was coming to his house, and strangers in our house terrify. The immense fear that we love his little brother more than him.
What you didn’t see was the return home after the trudge up to the trig point and over the moor and home. What you didn’t see was the calming effect the walk had; what you didn’t see was the massive hug he gave me, his dad and his brother when we got home. And you didn’t hear the whispered apology.
He doesn’t want to be this way. He didn’t choose to be this way. It just is, his way. He didn’t have the amazing start to life your children did. We love him unconditionally, that means in the bad times, as well as the good. Life has happened to him, in a way that your children cannot comprehend, not that they should.
So next time you see us, with him struggling to cope, please try not to judge.
Take note – my boys, both of them have done amazing well over this busy, frantic time. They have both struggled at times. They have both shown that they have struggled. But I am amazed with them; and so, so proud