Monday, February 25, 2008

My Son

I know I have been quiet. It has not been deliberate just how its worked out.

Last week my Son turned 18. It was an emotional experience for me. I am not the kind of Mum who enjoyed the baby phase, toddler or small child bit - I felt guilty about that for ages but not anymore. I never had a desire for them to be small again and have embraced their teenage years with joy!

However, on the morning my son was officially a man I did cry. All I could see was the golden haired blue eyed cherub who used to run round the house with his own little language. He had hearing and learning difficulties after the MMR vaccine went badly wrong. Thankfully he made a full recovery but I put in hours and hours and hours of one to one time with him, trying to show him that events were sequential and not stand alone experiences.

Once diagnosed his ears were operated on, and his tonsils removed. It took him weeks to get used to sound. The toilet flushing really frightened him and the first time he heard the ice cream van outside he was totally confused. He was in speech therapy for 2 years. He was designated as special needs but I refused to accept it, or allow him to be singled out. So I did the extra teaching myself.

It was so scary to be a mother when he was so ill. He was ill on and off for a long time and each time his ears would fill up and he would be sick for days (and long, long nights). It seemed like it would never end. I taught him how to relate to other children - he had existed in a world of his own for those crucial early developmental years. I am really proud of what I did.

His school life was a total success. He made lots of friends. He got 10 GCSE's all A*, A and B's. He is taking French, Psychology and History A level and is off to university this September. He sings in a band and is one of the most popular guys at his school. He is about to take his driving test and is off to Estonia this Summer on a holiday he has organised with his best mate. He got on a plane by himself at age 15.

Even as I recall all of this its like I am talking of someone else. The poorly child that fought and struggled with what the doctors poison did to him, bears no resemblance to the confident, attractive, gregarious young man that he now is. Not a hint of his former difficulties.

He is a man now - and I love him.


trousers said...

I think I too might need speech therapy, as reading this post rendered me temporarily speechless. Wonderful stuff.

DJ Kirkby said...

Your boy is an Aspie? Wow! You are a marvellous mom and you are both lucky to have each other. That painting you put up on this post, I absolutly aodre and have tried to find a print of it for years to buy but no place seems ot stock it. Gorgeous eh?

Lady in red said...

OJ will be 18 this year and had difficulties as a young child but not to the same extent as your young man. I was so worried about him going to school and being bullied because of his problems but he wasn't he held his own,has always been popular and s now at college expcting to go to university in 2009 to a maths degree.

It saddens me that I was unable to do anything to mark DC's 18th, he is now 20.

congratulations on havin such a remarkable young man.

Vi said...

You are a great mum, and you should be as proud as you are!

Anonymous said...

{{{{{{{{{{{{Queen Vixen}}}}}}}}}}}
That is a wonderful story, full of unstinting maternal support when he needed you most.

The fact that you were so strongly and intelligently and knowingly present for him touched me deeply.

And you cried on his birthday, I am not surprised and wish I had been there to give you a proper hug.

Hs sounds like the kind of guy I would like my sons to grow into. Well done you for excellent mothering, even when it was so tough.


Böbø said...

I envy a son who's mum loves him so much for the adult he has become and not for the baby he once was. No doubt he is gifted in many ways, but very much not least, he has the gift of having you as his mum, ♥QV♥

Queen Vixen said...

Oh thank you all!! Your comments have really touched me. Thank you.

Trousers: I too dont know what to say lol but thanks anyway

dj: I always think he came very close - he certainly was on the mild end of the autistic spectrum; following the vaccine he developed lots of repetitive behaviours, speech was lost, ability to relate to others disappeared and the idea of cause and effect was a mystery to him. Hand on heart I would say he had traits of autism that gradually lessened - all the doctors hedged their bets except one brave paediatrician who confirmed that he had been affected by the vaccine. Whether or not he was or is - he functions so well and he is who he is. :o) The painting is truly beautiful - if I see a print of it I will send it to you.

Lady: Motherhood is so full of worry and joy! You could always 'be traditional' and throw a bash for his 21st.

Vi: Thanks Vi! Means a lot.

Hull: Again - many thanks. It was a labour of love and I do feel proud. He is the best company, and so funny. We can talk about anything - and I mean anything!

Bobo: Thanks for that comment. I do love the adult he is - and have encouraged adult experience. Growing up is something my children are not afraid to do - unlike me. There was no way I was passing that curse on.

Graffiti said...

That is a great post and a wonderful story that has a good ending. Well it is not actually the end but the last chapter written sounds great.

I have an 18 year old as well so I suppose I understand what you are talking about

All the best to him and you


Pixie said...

Well knowing him as I do I'd just like to add that he's a chip off the old block and a credit to you. You have every reason to be both proud of him and yourself.

Queen Vixen said...

Grafitti: Thank you - it is a happy ending. 18 years olds are great!

Pix: Thanks. He is a great guy! His interest in rock, psychology and science fiction certainly makes him a chip off the old block! lol