I Am That Tiger
There are many times I feel impassioned about Alex’s special needs. Many times I feel a ferocious roar in my throat, feel the hardening of my limbs as they unwillingly move into an unbending stance, preparing to pounce at any wrong word, any misspoken tone, any gesture clearly not thought out. Even towards my husband.There’s something about being a mother of a child with special needs. I feel it for my other two, my beautiful “neurotypical” children; a feeling all parents, most especially mothers have. But there’s an edge to being a mother of a child with Alex’s needs. A salient threshold that’s uncontrollable in nature.
You seek to protect at every turn. Your insight, your foresight goes beyond the normal, natural boundaries of parenthood. You develop a sight of future endeavors, challenges, hurts, struggles, triumphs. Your vigilance in every experience, every breath is heightened only with the blanket of humanity’s nature holding you back. And this is a simple walk through a grocery store; in a quick encounter with a peer from school; while watching on during child’s play in the neighborhood.
Eyes wide, perched, taking in all that surrounds my Alex, listening to words placed upon him, to whispers floating around him; expressions on faces, a quick glance there, a grimace there, I watch…I wait.
5 thoughts on “I Am That Tiger”
I have a friend that has a son like yours, his name is brandon. For some reason he likes to cling to my 10 year old out of the blue for no reason and yells loudly if anyone attempts to stop him. I guess he likes her. She doesn’t mine. Most of the time she alone(the mother) she has to find a daycare that will accept taking care of him when he not “in” school. She said she has to find a house that meets there needs.(this was a while ago, but apparently she was being kicked out because her son had damaged the property when he had a melt down(I dont know what that means but I prolly never do want to.)) I know it hard and it mus be extra hard since you have 2 more kids besides him (my friend only has one other child) but keep your head up! I will pray for you and your family.
You may be the tiger, but I am the walrus.
Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
Your stories are so beautifully written. You should consider writing a novel! I will visit your website often to enjoy your blogs, especially those about Alex.
@[email protected] – I’m sure your brother appreciated it, even if he didn’t truly realize what you were doing at the time. Everyone needs some protection some time, from various things in life. I’m glad that there are those of us who are willing and able to do this for those we love…
I used to be a type of protective tiger as well, but toward my younger brother. He does not have Autism or any present special needs, but he had some difficulties in his childhood that caused me to look out for him, and to defend him when I felt I needed to do so.
In some ways, I think I was more aware of his surroundings than he was.
He probably wasn’t as vulnerable as I made him out to be, but at that time, I felt that it was better to be safe than sorry.
Plus, I wanted him to know he had a sister who would look out for him when times got tough. 😀
I think most do tend to be more careful and protective of a loved one who is perceived as somewhat fragile. To me, it felt like an instinctual pull to watch over him.