I often find myself in a cycle of emotional thinking when it comes to my children, and especially relating to the journey we're on with Aiden's craniofacial condition. Obviously there are a lot of ups and downs and for the past few months - even year or so - we've been lucky to have found ourselves in a very comfortable, even-keeled ride. No recent surgeries. Settled into our new home in Texas. Making great friends. Love the boys school. Things are good - great even.
But it is times like these that I begin to think about the future. With this sense of happiness comes the reality that things may not always be this way. When will things come crashing down? We already know that Aiden will endure more surgeries - one is coming up this May. We can mark it on our calendar and prepare the best way we know how. And while we will always experience fear surrounding any procedure he will undergo, from previous experience I know the strength in me as a mother will somehow take over and get us through.
It is the fear of the unknown that sometimes creeps up and effects me. Everyone loves Aiden. His bright eyes and wide smile make it impossible not to. His charming personality and infectious laugh make it easy for others to see beyond his differences. He is a child. Innocent. Naive.
But what about a few years down the road when kids start teasing him? Or when he's an adult and his smile and laugh no longer prove a barrier to the harsh judgments of society? Will he like himself? The way he looks? Will he battle depression? Make friends? Find his niche in life? Get married? Have children (or adopt, as he will have a 50% chance of passing on Apert Syndrome to any offspring)? How will my boys relationship change? Will Ethan ever resent having a brother who isn't "normal" like him?
I know it is not helpful to worry about things out of my control. And the future is definitely that. But it is one aspect of raising a child with a difference that is much too difficult to overlook. I cling to the happiness we have right now and pray each night that it will sustain for many years to come. I know I'm strong enough to endure the ups and downs. I just have to trust that the way we raise our children will ultimately give them the strength to overcome life's hardships in years to come.
As much as I want to see my children grow, develop and continue to succeed, part of me wishes they could stay this little forever.
Click to hear the song...and just try not to cry ;)