Annie -- I came here Sunday to share words of support and to bitch about my 13 yr. old son with you, but we had a power outage and my whole rant was lost. Oh well, it gave me time to think anyway.
We are mothers because we chose to be (thank the Great Mother we STILL have that right!). There was something inside us at conception that said, "Now's the time, and this child will bring me something I need and experiences I've never had before. Can I get a Hallelujah from the choir? This child, my 13 year old, has posed more challenges to me than I've ever had in any other aspect of my life. This was from the very beginning. We knew at 5 he was beginning to show signs of LD, and at 8 the teachers were screaming ADHD (he's not, not really, and we're only now beginning to find that out :P) so our family physician put him on Ritalin, requested a referal to a neurologist, which was denied by the HMO (don't even get me started...) and he was on that until we changed HMO's last year and he actually got to see a specialist.
He's always seemed slow and awkward after the age of about 8. He didn't actually read at grade level until 5th grade (Goddess bless Harry Potter and JKR) His hand writing is still illegible and his speech, while highly literate, is s l o w, so I tend to try to finish his sentences for him. That's led to some amazing fights, or to him withdrawing and not talking to me for a day or so. That's when I want to cry, and usually do.
Now we know that he has something called Sensory Integration Disorder, and that it's auditory and visual in nature. He hears and sees fine, but loud noises are horrible for him (has to cover his ears at ball games and movies because it's too loud.) He sees, but his vision is impaired because the muscles of his right eye failed to develop properly, so his left eye does nearly ALL the work, and we are just now finding all this out. So I cry in frustration for him some more and do everything in my power to help him catch up or learn to cope.. Add the hormones in there (his and mine!) and life in my house is interesting to say the least right now!
He was given to me and my husband to raise for a reason. His challenges are something my family needs to learn from in this life so that hopefully we will grow and become what we were meant to be. If we couldn't do it, really do it well, he wouldn't have come to us and brought us these life lessons to learn, right? I know I love this child with my last breath. And when this trial has passed away and we've moved on, there will be joy on the other side. I know it was that way with my mom and me. Even after I screamed in her face that she was a bitch and swore I'd hate her forever when I was 13 and she knocked me across the room for it, we were best friends by the time I was 17. When I was 16 I'd have told you it'd never happen, but in spite of everything it did anyway.
I hope this helps you, and all the other moms out there. When life throws you Llamas, make llama-ade, as a young lady of my acquaintance likes to tell me, and if it's lemons, that's even better ;-D
With joy and light, my Sistahs...