» living life Upside Downer

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I am in mourning. It’s a soft mourning, but I am feeling the loss and fear nonetheless.

Sam is losing his 2 front top teeth.  They are all caddywompus and dangling. Any day now – any HOUR – they’ll fall out and make way for the big, adult teeth that will grace his smile for the rest of his life.

Yes, I know this just a part of normal development, and I’m really not often one to feel super emotional about my children growing, changing, and reaching new milestones. Typically we celebrate them.  But this one… this one is hard for me.

Developmentally, Sam is very much still a toddler – around 2 or 3, and in some areas even younger. In so many ways, just a baby-guy walking around in an almost 7 year old’s body. Frankly, many of his behaviors – his impulsivity, his emotive frustration with his limited ability to communicate, his lack of safety awareness, his need to still wear diapers part time, his attachment to chewing on a pacifier, etc, etc – are so much easier to accept because he is still so young. His face still such a baby face. (He’s soooo CUTE!)

The loss of these teeth. It is sort of the first of many physical changes to come, as we move into big kid-dom, tween-dom, & teen-dom. And this cold hard fact scares me. We live so very much in the present, and I have not allowed myself to spend much energy thinking about what it will be like to have  an older child with the differences that Sam has. We have always just celebrated his accomplishments as they have come, focused on nurturing his potential in the moment, and not worried too much about what he may or may not be capable of in the future. The truth is that, many of his behaviors & limitations are just plain hard to accept from a big kid. Much more difficult to stomach the judgmental glares from people out in public that don’t stop to consider the possibility that there just may be a REASON why my kid squeals loudly and claps his hands and doesn’t answer when they ask how old he is. Much more difficult to not consider the nuances and logistics of what living with a teenager with special needs, and very likely an adult dependent, will look like for us.

And yet, it is what it is. These teeth will fall out, we will raise our hands in a collective family “YAY!” celebration, the Tooth Fairy will pay a visit to our family bed, those big gawkward teeth will grow in, and Sam will still be our sweet, beautiful boy. My Momma’s heart will weep for just a minute at the loss and what it means, and then I will move on and embrace the change as we march on forward.

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February 1, 2012 - 5:14 pm

Amy Mcmullen - gosh, isn’t it true? we live day to day, eyes on the prize and getting by, and don’t see what’s coming till it’s upon us. i am overwhelmed FOR you, thinking of later chapters, picturing how it will change. still, you’ve laid foundations of honesty and love, friends, and are magically learning from sam and educating us in turn. there is so much good to be had in that. thank you for that sort of inspiring.

February 7, 2012 - 9:33 pm

Lisa Kirkman - Hi…I am Tyler and Jason’s Aunt Lisa. Andy forwarded me your blog as parenting inspiration. I want you to know that you all have inspired me and made a difference in my life. You have my true respect. Keep writing and when you are ready to adventure to Colorado, we’d love to welcome all of you.

February 8, 2012 - 12:40 am

Rob - We love you Amy.
Thank YOU.
– Rob

February 8, 2012 - 12:49 am

Rob - Hi Lisa,
Thanks so much for taking the time to write to us. I’ve known Andy for some time now through the venue I work at (The Goodfoot) and have a great fondness for him & his hard work as a Dad (as well as Angela’s hard work being a Mom!). It’s really flattering to have you compliment us (and humbling). We’re really inspired by everyone who takes the time to read what we’re sharing – so – Thank YOU!
– Rob

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