I like to think that I stay ahead of the game as far as expecting what may come. I am constantly researching brain plasticity, seizures, cerebral palsy, ect. Every new hurdle we have encountered has been one more obstacle to overcome, but has always been in the back of our minds as a possibility. Who would have thought that finally getting to experience something normal would have caught me totally off guard.
Getting used to stares from strangers in public is not exactly something that comes easily. It's human nature to be curious when we see something out of our respective "norm." I know I have been guilty of this myself. However, now, having a child with special needs is my norm. I want to protect him and his sister from anything and everything, but I also want them to experience new things. It's a tough call as a parent. I can keep them cooped up and never go out in public, but they would miss out on too many learning opportunities. So, I choose to put on my tough skin of armor and take them out into the world where we are vulnerable to the lingering stares of strangers. I hope this will become easier in time or at least that I will become more immune. I also know that as Kennedy gets older she will have questions about this for us, and we will cross that bridge when we get to it. I can only hope that we have the right words to explain things to her in a way that she can understand.
I can't speak for all parents of special needs children, but from the ones who I have spoken with the consensus is the same...we do not want to be treated differently and we do not want anyone to feel sorry for us. The situation we are in is not a burden, it is a blessing. I have so many things to be thankful for every day of my life: two beautiful children who make me smile daily, a loving husband and supportive family, ect... Having our children has changed us, but I think having children changes all people. You begin to see the world differently.