hopes, dreams & wishes

When I pick Holden up from school, they bring him (and other kids in his class) out before the chaos of the actual dismissal bell. So, I usually pull up around 2:30pm, and they bring him out around 2:55pm. Normally, Jackson sleeps while we sit and wait. There's either a middle school or high school in the area as well, and everyday, I watch kids walk by - walking home from school. They're older. Probably in the age range of 12-16 or so. Typically, it's the same kids, sometimes they're different. Today, I realized that I do the same thing each time I see them. I watched one boy, probably 14, 15 years old today, and thought to myself ... God, I pray Holden will be able to do that. I pray he'll walk home from school like other "normal" kids. I hope he'll be independent and be a "typical" teenager. I watched as this kid listened to his iPod, with his backpack on, and typical teenager jeans and tennis shoes. I wondered if he were going home to do homework? Was he going home to get online and talk to his friends? Was he going home to help out around the house (yeah right!)? What was a typical afternoon for him? And I thought, and wondered...does his mother have any idea how incredibly lucky she is that she has healthy (I'm guessing), typical children?

I have to say that I feel a little guilty for thinking these thoughts. I think it's because I've had people tell me that I should love Holden "just the way he is", and not "try to change him to be something he's not". To "accept him!".

My response to those people who think that is I DO love him just the way he is. I love him, unconditionally. How could I not? He's my child. However, I refuse to believe that my little boy is the same inside as he is on the outside. Before he regressed, he was there. The light was on. His eyes sparkled. He laughed. He smiled. His eyes lit up when he saw us come through the door after a day out. He loved his sister. He loved our dog. He played with them both. He tried to communicate.

After he regressed, it all went away. No eye contact. No happiness. No interaction. No hugs. No sparkle in his eyes. Nothing.

I know that my son is still in that little body and mind and soul. I know that the sparkle is there, the love, the hugs, kisses, interaction and sense of humor. So, I refuse to "accept him" the way he is. I will fight to get him back until I do. In the meantime, I appreciate so much, his little triumphs and accomplishments. I savor the hugs (although not often), the kisses. And, I hope, dream, and wish for his recovery, and for the day I can watch him walking home from school with his iPod, backpack, and know that he's going home to be a "typical" teenager.

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