I sometimes get comments from other mums saying they think I’m a superhero being a single mama, and having a child with special needs on top, and yeah, I do handle a fair amount by myself to be fair…
But here’s the thing- my boys my superheroes.
Zack is endlessly patient and kind to his little brother, and lends a hand so much more than most would. He helps me tag team Max when he’s having a difficult day- encouraging him to play a video game with him or playing with cars and action figures, so I can get a bit of peace when he sees me looking a bit stressed out.
Like over the October holidays when Max was poorly with his asthma nearly the whole time. He was prescribed prednisolone, which always makes him quite hard to handle and sends his sleep schedule out the window. Zack would come downstairs in the morning, take one look at me and asked: “what time did he wake up?” Followed by an offer to keep the keys in his pocket (so Max can’t open the doors and let the dog or kitten escape) and hang out with his wee brother so I could go back to bed. He’s twelve. Twelve!
Or when I was trying to make dinner for us and Max’s wheezing started again, finding his inhalers and talking his little brother through the routine, puff, count to 30, repeat times 10 (this is what they call a “burst” to be used when his asthma is flaring up and causing wheezing), without me even asking.
And then there’s our wee dude Max, my not-so-little man who’s on the autism spectrum.
He’s come so much further than I dared hope in his ten years, and continues to surprise me almost daily with new phrases and working so hard on learning how to speak more clearly, always being polite (he hiccuped today and said “pardon me!” absolutely perfectly and with no prompting- I nearly cried!), and is such a sweet soul.
He works hard at school (in primary five), and is finally in a position to spend most of his days in his mainstream classroom with support! He’s learned how to ask his teachers for help when he needs it – whether it’s because something is too tricky, or that he’s feeling a bit stressed out and is in need of some time in the ASD base on site to calm down. This is HUGE for my wee man. To be able to express how he’s feeling and find ways to cope rather than internalising it till it bursts out of him in waves of emotion is a massive step forward.
His reaction when he sees someone crying or looking sad. He wants to help them feel happy and shows them how to “breathe in, breathe out” – doing it with them and giving them hugs. It’s the sweetest moment to witness, seeing him show such empathy to others, and yet another big step forward in his progress.
And in the last week alone he’s conquered and enjoyed going out for both Halloween and our local fireworks display for Guy Fawkes Night!
I’m in awe of these amazing boys of mine every day.
My love for them continues to grow, I have so much fun hanging out with them, playing games, watching movies, going for walks, or just having a wee cuddle whenever they feel like it. I’m so lucky to have them as my kids. They’re my world and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They always say “I love you” just when I’m about to lose my patience, they give me snuggles and show me random pictures they’ve done for me, and are such kind and happy kids. They’re my kids, and they’re my superheroes.