I woke up a tad frazzled this morning. I have been anxiously counting down the days until this would happen...but it was unnerving, despite my excitement and relief. Today began the process of getting Connor officially diagnosed. It started with just me, sitting in a small comfortable room, on a leather couch, with a psychiatrist. It wasn't me we were discussing this time, it was Connor. She started at the beginning...
How was the pregnancy?
What was the delivery like?
How was he as a newborn?
Milestones hit on time?
What about his speech?
Then we got into the more emotional things...
How does he interact with others? What are the things that make him anxious?
Does he have any ticks?
How is he at school?
All of these questions, by themselves or even grouped a couple at a time, are painless for me to answer. I don't know what it was that triggered the sudden emotional response I had, but thinking about Connor, so closely analyzing his entire 7.5 year existence, wondering if I missed things because I just didn't know any better, or if it has just been too long since he was a baby and a toddler...he's been getting extra help and services since he was 3...what would he be like had we ignored everything up to this point?
That question is best left unanswered.
I think it was taking a hard look at his social interactions that made my mama heart all of a sudden become overwhelmed. Discussing the things that make Connor different, and ultimately HIMSELF, made me hyper aware of things that could get him made fun of at any given point in life. The sadness and anger washed over me and then the flood gates opened and out poured the tears...hot and thick...there was no stopping them once they presented themselves.
I'm not sure how many other parents react so suddenly and in that way, and I think I surprised the doctor by how fast the transition went from simply talking about things to me in tears. There weren't any tissues in the room, so I used my shirt like the classy bitch that I am, to wipe away the snot...and I didn't care one bit.
My son is different.
He is also amazing, and sweet, and loving, and so pure.
My pregnancy with him was interesting because I remember feeling extreme instincts to protect and confront anyone who would bully someone else. One little boy on a playground at our apartment complex was being bullied by a slightly older child, that knew better. I didn't give two craps if his mom was anywhere out there...she wasn't seeing what I was seeing and I put a stop to it immediately. I felt the first inner glimpse of mama bear coming out, and it wasn't even my own child. Hannah was over playing on the play set, completely unaware of anything going on around her.
This need to protect continued. Looking back, I think my soul knew that this baby would be different and would need a protector. He was such a calm presence in our family; my snuggliest baby and oh so sweet. I remember feeling like I could hold him all day and sniff his sweet little head. Life was so perfect. Connor was content to just be...and so happy. Gosh how I love that boy.
He is still sweet and still loves to give hugs. They are full body hugs that he goes in head first, and then the rest of him follows. He's getting big, and soon I can picture a 140 pound teenager doing the same thing with his entire body.
And that's where I begin to get scared...
While it is true that Connor has been the easiest of my 4 kids since the day he was conceived, he is also the most volatile and unpredictable. When he is raging and struggling to express his feelings and emotions, he is quite physically intimidating. He throws things and wants to punch and kick things. He has yet to direct his rage at anyone on purpose, but all in his way become potential victims...and that scares me.
I have visions of me having to tackle him to the ground to stop him from harming himself or others. I can't imagine what he will be like once hormones come into play...when his body transitions from a boy to a man...how much will he weigh? How will we help him express his frustrations without him being physical? I knew we needed the help...and a diagnosis is where it starts.
So, today we began a new journey. I don't know what to expect. Part of me is relieved this is all finally happening and another part of me wishes we could just stay where we are right here, right now.
We can't, though. He will continue to grow up...he will continue to be different in his own special way...and it's my job to protect him and give him all the resources he deserves to achieve his potential.
My son may be different socially, and he may be awkward, but he is and always will be, my little cub.