I seem to be living on the verge of tears lately. This week, the wheelchair, feeding, constipation, this life … has been overwhelming me.
I am currently sitting in a running car, Kiran chewing on his keys in the backseat, tears streaming down my face, in the library parking lot.
Why? Because we need to go to Hy-Vee, and while I was lifting his wheelchair into the back, it occurred to me the random bruises on my arm are, indeed, due to the way I lift his chair. And then I couldn’t stop crying.
This life is bruising me, and it is leaving me tender.
How do you tell someone who is reaching out to you – who wants to be a friend to you – that you have no idea how to even socialize anymore? That most times, you feel so alone in this life, your throat physically hurts from the need to scream? How do you help someone who knows nothing of this world understand what it is like on the daily? Without sounding … like this?
Without making them feel pity for you or making them uncomfortable…. WITH finding common ground somewhere, somehow, when you can’t think of how anything could possibly be the same?
And yet. A six year old, daughter of a classmate of mine, peppered me with questions about Kiran today. It has kept me thinking all day. Because I am in tears, constantly, thinking about whether or not Kiran will have friends when he goes to preschool. What will that friendship look like? How can I help him facilitate this important piece of his life?
Here is what I think the 3 and 4 year olds need to know: He has a special heart and a special brain. He is different. He gets around in his special chair (look at the cool light up wheels!), and he has different ways of talking to you. But you know what? He likes to clap – like you! He likes to laugh – like you! He likes music – do you? And he likes friends, like you.
And that’s the best I can do for him.
Right now, for me? I want what I can’t have. I want someone to tell me this wheelchair transport business gets easier. It will. But as it does, other aspects of life will be getting harder. I want someone to tell me Kiran will eventually not need the chair or an alternate way to communicate. It’s possible. But none of us can predict it with any certainty.
I want to feel normal. I don’t lead a normal life. But Kiran simply sees that that continues – I have never felt normal, so it’s not as if I’m missing something that once was.
I am just struggling. Today. This week.
But we will make it to Hy-Vee.