My angel in Heaven was special from the moment he entered this Earth. At one pound, one ounce, he would need levels of intervention reserved for the most extreme circumstances. I remember the pediatric resident, who was maybe fifteen, talking me through what 23 weeks gestation really meant when I was first hospitalized and ordered to remain inpatient until he was born. He would be small, he would be underdeveloped, he may not make it.
I made it one more week and he was born at 24 weeks and one day. By the time I finally saw him, he was already enclosed in an isolate, with tiny tubes in his mouth, nose, and veins. But he was special.
As he grew, and he did grow, although at a slow and frightening pace, more and more specialists would continue to explain his special needs. He would require the assistance of oxygen the majority of his life. He would need a feeding tube in order to finally be released from NICU and come home. He would attend physical therapy every week in order to progress, and make up for time spent in that isolate.
His needs were special, anything from typical, but I understood. I kept up with the medical teams, I knew how to manage his care, I handled his needs.
Now, my sweet angel on Earth has a whole new set of special needs. He has endured trauma, most of which his daddy and I will probably never fully comprehend. He also required therapy, and extra help, and a different kind of love than his peers.
This kind of special is much more difficult for me. He only listens to directions when he wants. He has little control over his emotions and reacts extremely to minimal stimuli. He requires patience, he requires consistency, he requires so much that I sometimes am not confident I can give.
Both boys, special in their own way, and needing a Mommy who can be strong, and confident, and advocate for their needs. Both boys, my boys, needing a mother who can feel what they want before they can express it, can anticipate their difficulties before stuff gets too hard, can be the person who molds them to be the men they’re destined to become.
I only parent one of those special boys today. The other, I look to for guidance when the trials of parenting seem impossible. My special boys, with their individual needs, have taught me more about life and love than I ever imagined I could learn.
My two special boys, whose individuality, beauty, and strength, make me the luckiest mommy in the world.