I had a special needs eclipse this morning. One of those moments when the challenges of raising a kiddo who needs a lot of help blocks out all of the light. The details aren’t important, but I can say that the morning involved toileting accidents, cold tea, lots of grabbing (on his part) and redirection that escalated into yelling (on my part).
I can’t even capture the intensity of the dark feeling now, but it was there, even though the circumstances seem trivial now. In one flash I saw myself forty years from now tying his shoe laces, wiping his mouth and his bottom, and my mind did a high-speed rewind through all of the thousands of tying and wiping moments I’d have between then and now. Zero to despair and rage in sixty seconds. It was hot and black and tight.
In those moments, there is a resentment, if I’m honest, both toward my son and toward the Universe. I cannot recall the last time I finished a breakfast without getting up. That’s where the heat comes from. The tightness comes from the seeming eternity of it. I have done this for so much longer than I thought I’d have to, and it’s not ending any time soon. Somewhere, someone is leisurely drinking tea and reading the paper, and it ain’t me. And it won’t be any time soon. A searing current of jealousy is there. I’m back at the very “why me?” beginning. It’s not pretty.
Something shifts ever-so-slightly and a friend pops into my mind. She has a child with special needs too, and it strikes me that she is probably having, or has had, or will have a very similar morning to mine. Then another friend. The another. A comment on this blog comes to mind; a mom who pointed out that it used to feel like we were having “one of those days,” but with time, you realize it’s just “one of those moments.”
At that moment, the eclipse passes. My beautiful boy is sitting in front of me again, and I am tying his shoes. He pulls to get up before I’m finished, but things feet looser. I don’t need to push against it, to control it or for it to end. It just is.