Define Love

A while back, Sam was talking to his coworkers about my relationship with Micah. He told them that people could mess with my children and risk my disapproval, but if they messed with Micah they would surely incur my wrath. In the worst possible way. It was a given.

One of his coworkers came forward recently and confessed that she thought that statement was very uncharitable toward the older three kids. I have to admit, she's absolutely right. But she felt the need to reveal that sentiment because she now knows what Sam meant by it. Her son was recently given a diagnosis of his own.

Funny how that changes everything.

She now has a different view of her son. Not only is he her son, the love of her life, the reason she gets up in the morning. Now he's someone that she has to advocate for. It makes a very real difference. And weirdly, there's no explaining it to someone who doesn't know firsthand.

I've likened my relationship with Micah to that of a mother with her newborn. You know how you feel about that newborn when you bring it home from the hospital? That fierce, intense, protective, mama-bear kind of love. It's an instinct to protect that newborn from everyone and everything, including it's own siblings. You love that newborn a little more intensely and differently than you love your other children because it needs you to.

So do kids with special needs.

And yet, much as I try to explain it, I can't. You simply have to live it yourself. Otherwise, it sounds as though I'm choosing favorites among my children. And you know the best part about it? The other kids feel the same way toward Micah that I do.

He just brings the best out in all of us.


Michelle said...

I totally get it. The other kids learn to stand up for themselves and create their own independence and ability to advocate. Those special children -- no one advocates for them but us. It's not favorites; it's necessary and right.

Anonymous said...

I totally get it as well. I think that even once she moves past the baby-stage and becomes a toddler and then a preschooler and then a child, I will love Briar with a fierceness that is reserved just for her. She is my 2nd chance baby, and while she doesn't need more love or attention than Cooper and Maren (or a child with special needs), she gets it because I just feel so damn lucky to have her.

How very lucky that your family was chosen for Micah and that he has the gift of such loving and understanding siblings.

Flea said...

Look at him filling out. :) I have to admit that I don't fully get it, but you explain it really well. I didn't do that mama bear thing early on - a late bloomer, you might say. But your Micah is a doll and worth every ounce of grr!

utmomof 5 said...

I don't have a special needs child but I think I understand what you mean. Don't mess with a mama bear!!

caramama said...

I think you've done a great job explaining it. I'm sure I don't get it fully the way someone with a special needs child gets it, but I understand what you are saying and it makes sense.

Karen Deborah said...

Long live the mother bear! And Micah brings out the best in a lot of folks. I don't know how he does it; he just gets prettier every day. Makes my lips pucker up.

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JennyH said...

Awe! I completely understand.

BeautifulWreck said...

Yep, so totally get it.