St. Valentines Day isn’t a day we ever celebrate in our home, mainly because it’s our wedding anniversary next week so what’s the point. We also don’t go in for the gushy stuff. Not that there is anything wrong with that, if it’s your thing. Stu will turn up with flowers occasionally ‘just because’ not because big business and advertising tells him that’s how to love me.
I do like the reminder that Valentine’s Day brings though. All the hearts, flowers and romance remind me about love, and being loved in return. Hearts and flowers are great, but true, pure love is something else entirely.
Raising a child with additional needs is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever taken on. There is no choice, there doesn’t need to be. He is my son. I choose him every single day.
Being Sams mum brings a fair amount of challenges my way. Our families way really and that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Far from it at times. The fact that I have two children one NT the other, autism often means my family is split. Because honestly Sams needs have to be so rigidly met that as a family we spend a lot of time living separately under the same roof. Which could be sad if we didn’t accept it. Instead we make the best of it. Movie nights or game nights or just Stu sitting with Connor while he shows him the latest Xbox game. Small things that may not mean much now but when he’s older he may think, ‘they tried’. I hope so.
Being Connors mum is simple, it’s honest and straightforward. It’s real. The love I feel for him is thankful and true. Though through no fault of his own being Sams mum is not always clear cut. His behaviours mean I have to switch quickly from mum to caregiver to nurse to bodyguard – all in a minute. But at the same time it’s where I need to be. Enveloped by him as he squashes his face up to mine and continually smells me. He allows me to accompany him in his world and that is my privilege.
When you are needed physically and mentally by a child so much, that love takes on another dimension. Not more just not so simple. Which is why every little example he shows me, every new skill or development can make my heart physically swell. I kid you not I’ve felt it. When I hear him singing to himself my heart sings, when he hurts himself mine hurts. Every day I see him walk into school with his TA, not looking back. I do, I look back and every day I say to myself ‘atta boy’ 🙌
When he independently said ‘love you’ was probably one of my proudest moments to date. This kid can break my heart and mend it within seconds of each other. Knowing he doesn’t hurt himself to hurt me doesn’t stop my hurt for him at all, but having an understanding of why makes it just a bit less painful.
And when I am feeling low as I honestly often do. I look at my children and my husband and I thank my lucky stars that we are in this together.
True love isn’t February 14th. It’s 365 being there. In all it’s beautiful ugly glory.
Life isn’t meant to be easy, yeah I’d definitely ask the universe to ease up some days but getting through those day with love and being loved in return is the key to it all.
Sammy made this for me today, so maybe we are celebrating Valentine’s Day after all. ❤️