Most of Noah's classmates at the special-needs programs are only children. Or they have older siblings. With maybe two or three exceptions, most families chose not to have any more children after having one with delays or difficulties or "issues."
I've admitted before that we certainly did not know the extent of what we were dealing with when we decided to have a second baby. I guess I'm glad we didn't, because ... well, DUH. How do you even let your mind GO THERE, to that hypothetical place where one of your children simply doesn't exist? It's like trying to imagine life without your legs.
But. I totally get why other families made a different decision.
Special-needs kids are tough. The process is scary, the treatments are expensive, the behaviors are draining, and the future can loom more like a big question mark than anything else. Yes, yes, blah blah special joys blah unique experiences Holland blah bee blah whatever.
I started this topic with a mom in mind -- a mom I don't know, I just see her dropping her oldest child off at occupational therapy camp while encouraging her younger not-yet-camp-aged child to walk flat-footed instead of that telltale sensory toe-walking. Two. Both of them.
And she's pregnant.
My first thought, once I processed the whole scene, was something eloquent like, "Damn, that takes balls."
Because if Ezra was not Ezra, as in typically developing Ezra, as in I-am-pretty-sure-we-dodged-this-particular-identical-bullet Ezra, I have absolutely no doubt that my husband would have been allowed to walk the earth this long without visiting the doctor for a nice ol' snip. A third child just wouldn't be an option. I couldn't do it, I couldn't possibly face that particular genetic lottery game again. As it stands now, I like to pretend that maybe our odds are 50-50 for another SPD-jumble-of-what-have-you, and ... I don't know. I just don't know.
Then again, if I had the ability to go back in time to my pre-Noah self and tell her about the child she was going to have and the challenges he would face ... I probably wouldn't.
Except maybe to say something like, "Do it. I promise you'll never, ever regret it."
Image via Amy Corbett Storch