I’ve always wondered if what I see, do or say are correct or even normal. I’ve been aware of not being normal (and they are my own words, and how I felt in this world.) for my whole life. I always knew I was different; I never knew how or why until the diagnoses of ADHD and ASS. They were eye-openers, but there hasn’t been a bigger eye-opener than AJ.
He’s not influenced by what he needs to say, wear, do, think, and what, not more. He’s pure, a baby, and he runs on instinct the first months. Nothing else, just an instinct to survive, grow, and thrive. He does that because he enjoys something or finds something funny when he laughs. His frowns show me he wants to understand something or is confused, maybe even frustrated at some point. His tears are there when he’s upset, needs something, or is in pain, and his cries go from needing his parents, wanting food, changing his diaper to just trying out his voice. AJ’s actions are pure, are what they are. There is no ‘read between the lines with him.
My need to understand things, find the action, and (right) reaction drive almost everything I do. Which also meant I went ON when AJ came into our lives. I was (still am) hyper-focused on him and all his needs. Because I didn’t understand this little human and what he needed, I wanted to be perfect for him and give him everything he needed. So I focused, I watched, I listened, and I acted. Sometimes I did the right thing in what he needed, and other times I got it wrong, which was alright. I would go down the “list” and figure out what it was. There were moments that AJ needed to cry for some time to get rid of his overstimulation. Being a baby is hard work. Everything is new, exciting, and scary, and Everything happens for him. This is vast overstimulation for a baby, and we plan in moments in the day that he can relax and let him cry if he needs to (after knowing for sure he’s not in pain or anything else). He taught me that everyone, or at least I think everyone needs to have a moment to be… relaxed. And that it is part of being human.
With me being ON, I focused on AJ all the time. I learned what he wanted and needed at a point, just like every other parent would. You are your child’s parent; you know best. I look at him, move, laugh, drink, eat, cry, yell, test his voice, waving his arms, hold his hands in a fist, and googling almost everything I learned to read him. But I also learned to read myself; I started to see through his eyes. Basic reactions for him are still part of things I do. Like rubbing my eyes when I’m tired, I never noticed that I still did that. Until I saw AJ doing it, it was/is one of the signs he’s tired.
There are many more examples of him teaching me, from the basic emotions to handling stressful situations to letting go of my routine and accepting what is happening. I have grown before, but I’ve never grown this fast and this much.
Still, it’s been a long hard road, challenging and with many downs. The ups are coming, more and more, but a baby is a huge responsibility. One I am glad I can handle, with help!