When I was young I thought I knew the definition of unconditional love, my view was you loved someone you loved them through good and bad and stuck together no matter what. It’s been in the last 15 + years, that so many of the “values” “views” I believed have been put to a test. With the birth of each of my older kids, I remember looking at them and thinking how much I loved them and wanted to make their lives better. I have questioned many things in my life, but never my love for my kids. I remember when Peyton was born, he was quite a bit younger than my older kids and I knew he would be my last, I wanted to really cherish each moment. I knew almost right away something was different with Peyton. He wanted to be in his swing to sleep,in fact he would only fall asleep in his swing. He didn’t make the eye contact like my other kids did, and almost all noises scared him. I was “assured” it was fine and he “would catch up” as a Mom I knew there was something different. I also knew no matter what I was going to love him and care for him, even if that meant his never being in his own. Peyton didn’t talk like my other kids did, in fact he had his own language til he was 5, My third child always knew what he said and it became his “job” to interpret for Peyton. As a Mom you want to make it all “right” but you know it isn’t that easy. I would be lying if I said I thought it would be easy, I spent many hours in tears wondering how I was ever going to handle being a mom of four, one with special needs.
I remember one time telling a close friend of mine, I don’t know how I am going to handle it all, she looked at me and said..”you will, You love your kids unconditionally and that alone will get you through this” she was right I many times have thought about that comment. I have days where my heart hurts so much for him and I try so hard not to let him know. Peyton is sweet and says I love you often, I am lucky. I also know in many ways his devotion to me is because I am his lifeline. He is 16 and clearly not ready to live on his own. He does have many life skills that I am thankful for, such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of himself etc…but I also know he couldn’t balance a checkbook, even though I have tried to teach him…and so many other day to day skills he would need to “survive” on his own. I see the frustration in his face when he can’t do things that come so easy to others. It hurts my heart, but it also makes me more determined than ever to keep trying. I also know through it all, through the tears, frustrations and heartaches ….. We will survive, because through it all we have unconditional love.