I finally got a haircut today. I went in for a “Goldie Hawn,” but came out with a "Hillary Clinton." Sometimes things just don't work out the way we want. That happens, yet we somehow survive.
When we had our oldest child we hurriedly counted 10 fingers and 10 toes and felt relieved when we saw our beautiful baby boy. Add a baby girl who looked like a porcelain doll a year later, and we felt blessed to have two healthy children. It wasn’t until our boy was about two years old that we realized something was amiss developmentally. Our son had language, lost language, and was not hitting the same benchmarks as other children. So began our journey, hoping at first to find the appropriate support he would need, but quickly finding out that sometimes identifying the problem was the biggest hurdle.
As with most children, the language issues quickly developed into some behavioral problems. You have to understand that it is difficult to learn the social customs of the playground when you have limited language skills. Even though mom was always around, a few impulsive pushes and now our boy was branded a “bad kid." Unfortunately, while I was in the middle of all the kids trying to model for my son, other mothers did not feel the need to monitor as closely. Inevitably, our son became the outcast and life became lonely for my husband and me.
We hoped that once school started our boy’s communication skills would improve, which would make life easier. That was not the case. So my family’s journey began. We were on a mission to find the appropriate atmosphere that would encourage and nurture my son, but not at the expense of our daughter, whose communication skills were never a concern.
This journey led us to Naugatuck. We left behind our family and friends; I left a job that I loved and my husband traded a five-mile commute for a 75-mile commute. Our hope when we moved here was that my son would be able to be in the same school as his sister, be appropriate in the school, and maybe make a friend or two.
I prayed and prayed that we did the right thing for all of us. On June 19, 2012, all of our decisions were validated. My son graduated from Naugatuck High School, and is on his way to Thames Academy at Mitchell College in the fall. Not only did he win three scholarships, his high school achievements include: honor roll seven times, four years of ROTC, four years of football, two years of swimming, four years of track and field, marching band and he was elected Homecoming King in the fall, then in the spring, he was elected Prom King.
When our son was born, like most parents, we had dreams of law school and pro sports. As our son grew, and we saw his struggles, we started hoping and working to make him "normal." We never did get what we wanted. We prayed for normal, but we got outstanding.