Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Son

One of my sons has really been on my mind lately.  Tim and I have just realized how, gosh, I don't even know the right word..... mentally slow (?) he is.

I had this conversation with him this afternoon:

Mommy, can I broom the porch? 

Son, how many times have I told you it's not 'broom'? 

Son, confused: Mop. 

No, sweetie, it's not mop. 

Son: Broom! 

Honey, didn't we just talk about how it isn't 'broom'? 

Son: Mop! 

No, honey, mopping is wet. 

Son: Broom! 

No, honey, we just said it wasn't broom. It's SWEEP.

He's a strange mix of wisdom and confusion, of competence and absolute inability.  

He's going to take careful teaching and extra help along the way.  And he needs people to be understanding and kind to him when he's slow.

Before we adopted the boys, the social worker told me, "We want to make sure you understand that they are going to be mentally challenged."

I told her we knew, but I was thinking in my heart that our son's real problem was the neglect he'd endured for four years.  I was confident he could learn and would be *'normal'.  

I was so wrong.  He can learn, but not like I thought and he'll never be normal.

We don't regret adopting him.  That's not what I'm saying at all.  But I am sad about it.  He's going to have trouble in life.  He's going to be looked down on and he's going to have to have help doing some normal things.

Tim needs help doing some normal things (driving, etc.) and he is looked down on by some people.  People are impatient with him fairly often.  And in comparing him and our son, our son's mental challenges are worse.  It breaks my heart.

I'm glad we've discovered now how slow he really is.  He is oh-so-good at faking understanding.  But he doesn't understand, and I have to remind myself very often that I need to be patient with him.

*Normal:  I know people hate that word.  But it is what it is.

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