Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Answer

I arrived early outside of the middle school anxious to pick up my young son and learn the results of his daring new experiment in self expression.

But there was no sign of Weston.

I hadn't received any calls from the principal.

No guidance counselors had phoned asking me to pick up my bruised and battered boy.

This was a good sign, I thought to myself, tying to convince my nervous mind that all would be well.

Where is he? I thought anxiously, craning my neck to see if I could spot any sign of the tall, lanky boy heading my way.

But there was nothing.

The radio blared but I couldn't hear anything.  My thoughts were held hostage, worrying about Weston.

Suddenly up ahead, I could just see the outline of a thin shape walking toward me.

Was it Weston? I squinted my eyes hoping this would help.

I studied the approaching figure carefully...the long bouncy strides... the slow deliberate forward movement.

It was Weston.

Was it a happy walk? I thought as my eyes studied his gait, searching for any telltale signs of his current mood.

He was walking quickly and seemed to bounce a little more than usual.

Phew, another good sign, I thought hopefully.

At last he jumped into the car. His hair was still gelled but the spikes appeared like they had fallen long ago. On his head, his Ipod.

'Hi Mom!" he said happily and nothing more.

"Well?" I asked "How'd it go?"

"How'd what go?" he asked innocently.

"The hair?" I asked impatiently.

"Ohhhh yeah," he said. "It went good. No one teased me."

"Really?" I asked, very surprised.

"Nah, they all actually kinda laughed."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I think they all were surprised and just wanted to know what was up?" he answered.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"What about the girls?" I asked. "What did they think?"

"They really liked it. Lots of them asked me why I was doing it and told me they liked it."

I laughed quietly to myself and shook my head, once again my husband was right.

"How about the boys?"

"Well lots of them were like.....Hi Weeeeeeston? What's up with the Mohawk? And they laughed, not at me but more like a ..."that's kinda cool... laugh"

"You must be happy, it sounds like your friends were pretty supportive."

I realize I have misjudged his peers.

"Yeah," he says, "everyone pretty much left me alone."

"How about the teachers?"

"Most of them didn't even notice. The spikes kinda fell down at the end of the day."

For the first time in my life I am thankful for my inability to do good hair. As I looked closer at my son, I realize the gel failed miserably and all of the spikes fell down into a greasy pile at the top of his head. He now looked more like "the Fonz", a calmer, cooler version of a different nonconformist.

"So what do you think of your little experiment?" I asked.

He replied with a one word answer..

"Good."

I am happy for my son and thankful that his experiment was a success. I let out the breath I had been holding all day. I must admit, I feel like I dodged a very big bullet.

Perhaps his friends are starting to understand Weston. Perhaps they finally see the kind heart that hides under the quirky spirit. Perhaps they are finally starting to accept him.

"I am proud of you Weston."

He smiled brightly and said,

"I can't wait to tell Dad."