Matthew and Michael ClarkAs children grow and develop, we often mourn the stages they leave behind, but we also let out some sighs of relief that we made it through that one and brace ourselves for the next. So what if once we'd raised them to adulthood, they went backwards, and started regressing through the stages? It's unthinkable when you really consider it, but that's just what the parents of Matthew and Michael Clark are facing, as their grown sons are now aging backwards.

Their story is reminiscent of the movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but it's their reality ... and it's a heartbreaking one. According to Yahoo!, Matthew, 39, and Michael, 42, were leading normal adult lives for years with no signs anything was wrong. Both had jobs, wives, and children; their parents Tony and Christine, had retired and moved from their home in the UK to Spain. Then things started going awry, and their lives headed in downward spirals.

After being found in a soup kitchen, Michael -- who had previously served in the Royal Air Force -- was diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder, terminal leukodystrophy. Shortly thereafter, Matthew was diagnosed with it as well.

Today they live at home with their parents, and are more interested in things like playing Mr. Potato Head and watching cartoons than interacting in the adult world. They squabble like toddlers, and their sleep habits have their parents getting up throughout the nights once again. Their physical abilities are deteriorating as well, as they now struggle to eat with a fork and a knife. Matthew is confined to a wheelchair, and they regress each day.

As much as the thought of being able to go back in time may have some fleeting allure in our minds, the reality is painful. Christine told The Independent recently:

There's no return to them being cute little boys. They're big strong men—and that presents a quite different set of problems.

As she says in a premiere for a documentary on their story, which is set to air tonight in the UK, she used to wish her children were young again, and she got her wish. But it's certainly not a fate she'd wish on anyone else. It's heartbreaking to think of this couple in their 60s who did their job raising their children, now having to spend what were supposed to be their retirement years doing it over again. I'm sure, like most of us, they will do whatever they need to do for their children, but it seems so unfair that they should have to like this.

Can you imagine having your children age backwards? Have you ever wished they were younger again?

 

Image via YouTube