Wonder From the Eyes of the Typical
Wonder From the Eyes of the Typical kid has inched into my brain. I use the words “typical” and “atypical” loosely. In my world, there are no “typical” kids or people. We are all a bit screwy from time to time. That is what makes the world an exciting place to live. Not being all alike, it gives areas flavor and personality.
I used that terminology because of the movie “Wonder” that I watched last night. You can find a Christian review on this film at Plugged in Online to learn more about the different content of this movie.
They used the word “typical” in the film while referencing their oldest daughter, Via. Their youngest son, Auggie, was born with a deformity. He, too, was a biological child. For the most part, I enjoyed this movie, though it hurt my heart.
This movie did not depict the strain that raising a medically fragile child can have on a marriage. The ‘parents’ seemed to get along great, and there didn’t seem to be underlying anger/hurt/resentment towards one another.
That, right there, is why this is a movie and not real life.
Raising children with special needs, whether mental, physical, life-altering, terminal, etc., have a great deal of strain on any couple. The pressure does not discriminate on whether the parents are married, co-parenting, etc. It isn’t easy. I know why people do not stay married. The all-consuming nature of special needs children is just that, all-consuming.
The Typical Child
What I feel they were pretty spot-on with is the feeling of the older daughter. The child in the shadows. The child you just let skate on and upward with because they know not to make waves. These children have learned to problem solve, maintain, and stay calm on the outside when their insides are screaming.
Guilt begins to permeate.
This movie made me think about my ‘typical’ kids and what they have seen/heard throughout the years. The pain is unbearable at the thought that I have swooshed them under the rug because I was busy putting out fires of my ‘atypical’ kids.
My kids’ needs range from minor to significant things. We have dealt with everything from Dyslexia to Mild Mental Deficit. Splash in Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Deafness, and Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome. You will have my kids in a nutshell.
Be Careful Little Eyes What You See
My kids have seen SO much over the years. I’m so blessed that they are so aware of God and follow (mostly) in His forgiving ways. To think back, it makes me shudder to remember the looks on their faces when the violence would ensue.
I can still hear the still, small voices saying “mama stop” when I had had enough. The fear that would splash across their faces when one child would rage for hours on end. This child destroyed anything and anybody in the path of the tornado rage that was bearing down on us.
My kids didn’t have anyone over. It was not safe at times. They saw me cry more times than I could count. I have learned, over the years, to be mindful of catching my emotions before they run amuck.
Did I lose track of them in those years? Was there too long of a delay before I had had my belly full? Did my other children go unnoticed because of the acts/behaviors of one or two kids?
Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear
The things my kids have heard are horrible. The threats, the evil spewed out, the anger that flows like lava. They have listened to it all. One day, amid a storm (figurative, not literal), I noticed my son. God love him. He was corraling the other children to the back of the house.
I realized that day that he was moving them to safety. He wanted to protect their little eyes and ears from all that was going down. It was at that moment that I took control back.
No more was I going to let Satan rule my house. I was done, oh so done. Everything that I was “taught” to do by the so-called foster care rules, my church, my family, friends, other caregivers, therapists, and doctors…nothing worked.
It was time that I saw the other little faces, and I stopped the insanity that had ruled my home, mind, and heart for too long. I began to stop seeking approval from those that did not have my family’s best interest in mind. There were no more doctors, medications, or therapists. I was done.
“Submit to God. Resist the devil. He will flee.” James 4:7 This was the verse I would chant while the world raged around me. We made tough decisions in regards to one of our children. A decision that I tried to back out of, but my family and my physician said it was for the best. Tough decisions are sometimes the hardest ones to make but also necessary for survival.
Reflecting on our past is not all a bad thing. I must be mindful to capture the thoughts that are not of God and put them in the place they should be in my mind. From the beginning of time, he knew the children that I would have, and He has made perfect provisions for each of them. I’m so thankful that He has guarded the hearts of our typical and atypical kids from remembering everything.
Hang tough, fellow mamas in the trenches. God has our backs!