I don’t think I’ve mentioned my guy’s son, yet. This morning, I think it’s time.
My guy has a seven-year-old mini-him. He has blond hair, blue eyes, and the most amazing eyelashes you’ve ever seen (so very jealous!) He adores SpongeBob SquarePants (kill me now!), loves banana pudding, is always eager to visit with his grandparents (who he has wrapped around his little finger), and chases the dog around the house. He flirts with any employee in a retail setting and is a complete charmer (I remember when my son used to do that). He is a really good boy, in general, but he does have his devious moments.
The first day I met him, he had me laughing hysterically, and it’s been that way ever since. We kind of set each other off. He does something to get me to laugh, which gets him to laugh, which gets me laughing harder, and it just keeps escalating until one of us is snorting, which makes us both lose it entirely. He has learned that when he snorts, I lose control (which he thinks is hysterical) so now he snorts intentionally to get me laughing (which I find hysterical). He also does it with other women, and they laugh as well, which he adores. It’s totally funny.
He has become really talented at playing possum. His dad came out to me in the kitchen and said that his little man was asleep. I was astounded, because I had just seen him and he was wide awake. I went to find him, and there he was, in his dad’s bed, beaming proudly at himself for fooling his dad. It was awesome! Until he did it to me a few days later. D’oh!
My closest girlfriend came over for a dinner party the other night. It was the first time she had met our seven-year-old (she has one of her own). Of course, he charmed her and had her laughing as he does with me. He was the star of the evening, entertaining us all and keeping us in stitches.
Oh, and he has Cerebral Palsy (CP). It by no means defines him. It is one of his many facets, but it is not who he is. Who he is is an excitable, personable, loving little boy who loves to dance, play, cuddle, and make those around him happy. He can’t talk, but he has his own way of communicating which those around him can mostly understand. He doesn’t have control of his fine motor skills, but he can brighten anyone’s day with just a smile. He can be easily startled (which can end in tears) but he also gets over his negative emotions extremely quickly.
Before I met him, I was afraid of him. How would I interact with him? Would I break him? It was terrifying to me. I was in love with his father, so he would be a part of my world. And then I met this special young man, and he eased all of my worries (he does that with anyone who takes the time to get to know him).
I had seen special needs children in the past. I would turn away so I wouldn’t be accused of staring (didn’t want to be rude). I would wonder what was wrong with the child and what had caused it. I wondered what kind of life their parents had, feeling pity for them, wondering how they made it through a day.
My guy’s little guy has changed all of that for me. Now when I see a child who needs extra care, I smile at the child and at the parent. If she has pretty braids in her hair, I will comment on it. If he has a cool outfit on, I will say something about it. Or, if nothing stands out, I just smile and greet the parent as if everything is normal.
Because it is.