As I watch Adrian grow, it's bittersweet for me. He's already doing so many things that Gabe never did at that age. He's social, happy and verbal. Gabe never was at that age. He would cry, scream and cling to me. His version of verbal was whining and grunting, and the occasional half word. He was a late sitter, a late crawler, and a late walker. He didn't talk for the longest time, and when he did start, he was terribly hard to understand. Even now, he is understandable mainly to people who know him. Don't get me wrong, he's come a long way and I wouldn't trade him for anything. I guess I'm just wondering what I missed out on with having a "normal" child.
I know that "normal" is relative. James is "normal" for the most part, but has difficulty with reading and with controlling his temper, which we believe may be related to lead poisoning when he was little. Caleb has autism like Gabe, and ADHD. Caitlin has motor and speech delays and is very small for her age. She also has delays in bone growth. Normal is one thing we strive for in the world, what all kids want to be. My kids will probably never be the picture of normal. But we are trying to teach them that normal is a subjective thing, and that it doesn't matter if they aren't exactly the same as every other kid they ever meet.
That doesn't mean it's any easier when they ask why Gabe has so many problems, and why he isn't anything like them. James understands better than the rest, that Gabe may never leave home. We hope he will be able to, but we are prepared for the eventuality that he might not ever live on his own. I don't mind, and I've explained to James that Gabe's brain doesn't work the same as his. He accepts it, and every once in a while, we talk about it and I ask if he has any questions. He knows it's not fair, and he knows that Gabe is starting to understand that people don't always want to play with him, that some are making fun of him. James has tried to shield him from some of it, but sometimes it's hard. Especially when the kids are making fun of him for trying to protect Gabe.
I try sorting things out in my head, but that just depresses me more. When I write here, I can erase and re-write as many times as I need to, to make it make more sense. I can vent here, without hurting people's feelings, and I can get my feelings out without having to yell or scream or throw things. I can take a break from the "real" world and just relax.
I don't even know how I get to where I'm going when I'm writing. I just let the words fly off my fingers and onto the screen. Usually not reading or proofing till I'm done. Then I go thru and spell check and make things make more sense if I can, or just leaving it if I can't.
Somehow this post went from being about the difference in development between Gabe and Adrian, to being about how I write and how things make me feel. Reading this makes me realize just why Mike thinks I have ADHD. Enough for now, need sleep I think, to make sense of things in the morning.