Friday, December 25, 2009
I follow my eager five year old to the entrance of the unfamiliar building, "in here mama" he says. A flurry of activity is all around. Young fathers, toddlers all bundled up in winter gear and five and six year old boys sweaty and cold at the same time. "Daddy always goes to number 4 mommy", we push open the heavy metal door and find a section of the bench that isn't wet or blocked off by a little ones duffel bag.
"Okay Owen, where do we begin?" I ask, completely overwhelmed. "This first mommy, then my knee pads." Ok, got it. I struggle for the next ten minutes to properly equip my son for his favorite activity. "Whew, we did it bud!" I cheer. "let's go mama", he commands as we walk thru the crowd of other young termites.
I've suddenly become a hockey mom, I thought to myself. I wasn't prepared. Owen gets on to the ice and listens intently to his coach. I'm greatly impressed by his ability. Those skating lessons have paid off. He's smiling, I'm smiling. Then I feel a tinge and the tears start to well up in my eyes.
I'm not used to this feeling anymore. The feeling of being so proud of your son you could shout it to everyone in the rink. My unfamiliar feelings make me feel as if I'm a spy in "Normal Town". For a while now Joe has brought Owen to his activities and I have brought Dermot to his "activities".
I'm used to explaining why Dermot can't hold his head up as well because he didn't sleep, or that he doesn't sit up as well anymore because he's so drugged up. But this feeling of watching my oldest son skate so well and score a few goals, I haven't allowed myself for a while.
How do I mesh these two realities into one? How do I go from slipping on Dermot's AFO ankle supports to making sure Owen's skates are on tight? Don't even get me started on the fact that Ryan is learning a new word everyday and I can see him become a little boy right before my eyes.
Who am I? I'm a special needs mama, full of pain, strength and grief, I'm a hockey mom full of pride, joy and gratitude, I guess that means, I'm a mother.