Yesterday I took my younger son Ian to a doctor’s appointment.

I arrived early, knowing I was going to be subjected to a stack of paperwork that would take me ages to fill out.

Except it didn’t:

I forget sometimes.

I forget just how vastly different the lives of my two sons are.

I mean, I never forget the obvious:  that Andrew has special needs and Ian doesn’t,  that Andrew can’t talk and Ian can,  that Andrew has frequent flier miles at our local children’s hospital and Ian has enough visitor stickers to wallpaper his entire room.

But the details of their differences, the subtle reminders that sneak up on me in the middle of a doctor’s waiting room; it’s those moments that often catch me off guard, surprise me, leave me a little startled that I had somehow forgotten in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m grateful, so so grateful that Ian is healthy and strong (not to mention it only takes me five minutes to fill out his medical history).

It’s just, for only being 18 months apart in age, they are worlds apart in their life experiences.

I guess that once in a while, that reality can get a little overwhelming for this mom.

It’s not something I can influence or change or remedy.

It just is.

And anyway, the only thing that really matters in the end is that they have each other.

 

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3 Replies to “For a Second I Forgot Just How Different They Really Are”

  1. Jo,

    I have the same epiphany each time I take my daughter to the doctor or dentist. How I don’t have to be “on guard” the whole time in preparation for a potential disaster in a public space. How little there is to say in response to doctors’ questions, because she just doesn’t have many issues. The contrast each day between our kids is breathtaking and saddening. I just feel grateful that I at least get a taste of what parenthood is like for everybody else, through my daughter. And I stand by that statement. 🙂

    – Maya

  2. Like you and Maya, I have one typical and one autistic kid. Doctor’s visits, birthday parties, and especially picking a preschool (and soon kindergarten) are worlds apart. Some days, this is just us, and other days there are these big old slaps in the face: DIFFERENT!

  3. Heyy, I notice that in strangers’ eyes, I am a much better parent of the children who seem a little more neurotypical! All those compliments come rolling in for things like manners and intelligence and tons of other stuff I have (really) very little control over. It’s not fair, I tell ya.

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