I like looking at pictures of when my kids were young/small. Like everyone does. I reminisce in my mind of how old each one was when we took the picture, where we were, the circumstances surrounding the photo. It’s a lot to take in and a lot to remember and many times I get emotional. Sometimes it is just hard. I know another mom who understood me getting emotional while looking at pictures and she is one of my best friends; Jackie. Things with Thomas were never really “normal.” He was always special needs but we had no idea *how* special needs he is until Thomas was 12 years old. So we dealt with a lot of difficult behaviors and a lot of difficult times. We still took pictures on holidays and times away. Even through the trials Thomas put us through we tried so hard to be a “normal” family…whatever that may be. It took me a lot of years to learn there is no such thing as “normal.” Or as my friend Wendy liked to say, “Normal is just a setting on your dryer.” Truer words were never spoken.
Fast forward to today and things are so so different I would say they’re pretty darn good. Thomas has adapted wonderfully to living in his group home. He makes no bones about it that he doesn’t live in my house anymore. He says, “Mom, this is ‘your’ house, not ‘my’ house, I have my own house.” At first it kind of killed me inside. To hear him say that. But he is correct. And I can’t argue with him. He’s right.
Thomas comes to “my” house just about every Sunday. I usually pick him up in the afternoon and he stays until around 6pm. After he takes his scheduled medications he’s good to go and wants to go home. While Thomas is here he’s pleasant and I enjoy being with him. The girls like being with him and I love taking pictures of when they’re all together. Now I love pictures. There’s nothing but positive thoughts when I look at recent pictures. Yesterday my kids are doing a project together; Lelly made cut out Christmas tree cookies and they all decorated them. It was sweet and nice and just so so great. If the girls aren’t around Thomas and I take selfie’s. Thomas loves it and tells me to post the picture on Facebook. Thomas is always good for taking a picture; all I have to do is tell him. “Thomas smile! I’m taking a picture!” And he’s good to go. I wish I could say the same for Samantha but she’s 14 and well, yeah she’s 14. I’ll say no more.
This isn’t all about Thomas, I love being with all my children. My girls are wonderfully typical and I appreciate that about them so much. It probably sounds weird to appreciate your kids for not being special needs but I do. Thomas is Thomas and he is who he is. The girls are who they are. I really enjoy spending time with my girls. They talk to me. I can’t ask for anything better from my girls or from Thomas.