Crystal Ball

We have new neighbors across the street. They moved in a few weeks ago, and we’ve exchanged a few words here and there, but mostly they’ve been busy with moving in and I’ve been busy moving my children from the house to the car and back again.

As far as I can tell from brief conversation, they’re about the same age as Hubby and I–maybe a couple of years older. They’ve got two or three kids, the oldest appears to be about six or seven.

The other day my Mother in Law was leaving the house when she turned around and called out to her son, “come see–it’s your future.” Curious, my husband and slipped out the front door to see what in the world she was talking about.

Across the street, our new neighbors were playing in the front yard. Dad was tossing a football to his two sons. The oldest did fairly good job, and the younger boy ran back and forth getting very little action.

We stood there and watched for a bit. A scene we know nothing about–the running legs of the little boy, the effortlessness with which he caught the ball–it’s all completely foreign to us. And while my Mother in Law referenced the future, thinking of the twins, in a way we were also looking at what might have been. Had life taken a different direction, it might have been us tossing the ball with our son. Instead, he played on the floor inside, his legs still more of burden than an asset.

It could have been a bittersweet moment, and maybe it should have been. But as I stood there on the front porch, I was fine. I was aware of the difference between their lives and ours, but it didn’t phase me. Maybe it’s because we have new possibilities at our house now. Maybe it’s because I’ve reached some level of acceptance. I’m not really sure.

I shrugged my shoulders and muttered, “eh.” My husband said to his mother, “I’m not sure we’ll ever be those people.”

And we went inside.

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  1. I think I would probably cry a little…even though E has come so far, and for the most part I see a future instead of what could have been. I think you deserve a lot of credit for how far you’ve come in terms of acceptance/rose-colored glasses, as Charlie is only four. I also think that is a good thing…could-have-been thoughts/obsessions, in my opinion, aren’t very productive.

    That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the twins when they can do those things. E’s little sister moves with such ease, and I never get tired of it! I’d never appreciate those things if it weren’t for Elena. And I love how far E as come (like you do with Charlie), I’m so proud of her accomplishments and love her to pieces.

    Even if you’ll “never be those people”, I hope you have a great relationship with your new neighbors!

    • Gosh, we are amazed by the twins already. You’d think they were running marathons the way we gush over their head control. :)

      And the new neighbors seem very nice. We were out with Charlie waiting for the bus, and they made a point to wave when they were outside.

  2. Being like other people is lame.
    Charlie can always play murderball, which is so much cooler.

  3. Yeah, I dont know what I would have thought of that conversation. You handled it with more grace than I would have. My oldest has SPD/aspergers and people just dont get that you cant compare apples to oranges.

    Sweet pictures!!!

    • Thanks! It’s fine–I think she’s excited that we have more typical things on the horizon, but we’ve finally gotten to the point where that’s not really important. Ironic really.

  4. I like the calm I’m getting from you….it makes my heart happy. :)

  5. Katy,
    I have not stopped by in quite a while and imagine my surprise when I find out you have 2 new blessings! (I said it had been quite a while since I was here, right?) Congratulations! It is great to see that Charlie is doing so well and to hear that both of your new little guys are home.

  6. Gosh so very difficult. I am still struggling looking at what Carsyn SHOULD be doing. I know I should be thankful that he is here and healthy, but so hard not to think of the what ifs.

  7. Our family dynamic is different than yours, in that we had children before our four-year-old daughter with special needs and her twin were born. I knew all along what I was “missing out” on with her. It really is fun to see our kids play soccer, learn to play the piano, jump on the trampoline, or whatever — and my appreciation (and melancholy) for these things has grown since Phia was born. I agree that you have much to look forward to with your twins.

    That said, I know how fiercely I love Phia, and how protective we all feel of her. I rejoice in her accomplishments, no matter how minor, and am happy for her when she is happy and having fun. We try to create fun experiences for her, too. (Side note: I have been amazed at your school projects and so forth with Charlie!) I have been moving towards acceptance with her, too, but I seem to move in and out of it. She had another big seizure the other day, and I find myself wishing that she (and I) could just throw the proverbial football in the yard and not have to worry about the rest of it…

    • I don’t think it’s an all or nothing thing–I’m not hanging out in acceptance town. I definitely think you go in and out. That said, it’s always a nice surprise when I find that I’m “in” it rather than “out.”

  8. P.S. I laughed because it kind of looks like your littlest guy is flipping us off in his picture! :) Your boys are all adorable!

  9. What a sweet pic.

    My heart aches when I see the normies. It’s just so hard for me. Yes, I have a lot more acceptance today than I ever have, but still, it hurts.

    I see a one year old walking and I think, “whoa! that baby is WAY too young to be walking!” and then I think, “oh, yeah…..” Sometimes I can even giggle about it :)

    • I have SO done that!!! I’m shocked at how quickly the normies pick things up–and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it.

  10. I think I would have wigged out if my MIL said that. Only because she generally drives me bonkers.

    I know, however, your MIL meant well and was probably trying to be ressuring. I think it’s hard for others to understand how we have found a new normal with our kids. I still have the occasional moment when I see boys Max’s age doing stuff he can’t do, but those moments are more rare now. When they happen, though, they are painful. I am glad this wasn’t for you. xo

  11. For the most part, I handle the obvious differences with grace. Knowing that I love and adore Sadie in a way that would not be more magnified if she was fully able bodied. And then sometimes I cry. Not often, but sometimes.

    I love seeing pictures of your boys.

  12. This is one of the reasons why I love reading your blog. You have such a level head about things. I am NOT that way. Emily is not much younger than Charlie and I feel like I have such a long way to go with acceptance. It comes gradually and that is a good thing. Progress, even small, is a good thing (with me and with Emily). Love the pics, by the way.

    • It’s gradual for me as well–I just like it when I find that I’ve overcome some hang up that would have bothered me in the past.

  13. Katy, I admire you for not letting “it” phase you.

    Give it a while and you might learn things about your neighbours that make them not sure “typical” after all. 😉

  14. I love your attitude about this!

  15. I think it was your MIL’s way of seeing the “bright side” and I’m guessing she wants to see her son do those things with his boys someday…

    On the other hand, your family is uniquely wonderful in its own way and that is awesome. :)

    Yay for new neighbors with kids!