Did Having a Son With a Disability Make Me a Better Parent to His ‘Typical’ Brother?
I've never said this to anyone but, boy, can my typical 4-year-old drive me crazy sometimes (most of the time).
I suppose I feel I can't really say this out loud because I should just be so happy (and relieved) that he is just that, a typical 4-year-old.
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely am!
But my goodness, no one warned me that he'd ask questions incessantly.
Or that he would have the ability to destroy a tidy room in seconds; that he could empty cupboards at the speed of lightening; that he would be so headstrong and determined; he’d knock my ironing pile over, just as I'd emptied the basket; or that he’d say the most embarrassing things in front of complete strangers.
And nobody warned me that it would be just the tip of the iceberg.
He drives me to distraction, but I love it and I wouldn’t change him for the world.
Every little bit of mischief, cheekiness and downright naughtiness is always under-pinned with a feeling of sheer joy that he is doing all these amazing things with such ease.
Things that his older brother can’t do and probably won’t ever be able to do.
I definitely think having my disabled child first gave me 'something' - I don't quite know what - skills, patience, a different outlook...to parent my typical child differently than I would’ve if he’d been my first.
I imagine myself shouting, snapping and losing patience easily but life takes on a different perspective with a disabled child.
A tidy house, an immaculate garden, worrying about other people think – it just doesn’t matter anymore.
Our home is about fun, laughter, and games – who cares if we chip the paint on the walls playing wheelchair tag or we use the wrinkled bed sheets to make a den big enough for an amazing little boy, his big brother and his wheelchair.