Saturday, April 23, 2011


At the age of three, Riley began school due to the necessity for intervention services through IDEA.  Once Riley entered the school system's Exceptional Student Education (ESE) I had the opportunity to focus on Ronan, just a year old at the time.
Santa Cruz Island Sea Lion's by John Buck circa 2002.

Something happened that I had not experienced in three years; I could freely accomplish a task without the production and worry for Riley's well-being.  Ronan became my constant companion .  It sounds a little more freeing than it really was because my mental state never stepped away and I was truly exhausted and listened closely for the school calls to my cell phone.  However, this could be valuable time for Ronan  I signed him up for Music Together an entire two miles away from Riley's classroom.  Eventually we ventured even farther for Kindermusic at Naples Philharmonic.

Is there really such a creature as a "typically developing sibling?"  How can that be possible where the childs' home life and family completely revolves around the needs of another.

How strange these sessions were to me.  At that time we still took turns to get Riley through every moment of the day and night.  My eyes were so tired I viewed the entire scene through a blur and it took every bit of strength I had just to get us there.  My child laughed and played alongside other children.   I had so little left in me it was a challenge to appreciate those very precious moments of my son's joy.

Strangely, the other parents in the room did not seem to notice that we had nothing in common with them.  We were masquerading.  We were pretending to be a normal family for those very few moment of our lives.  We were so far from the family we appeared to be.

This feeling of pretense has never left me.  Without Riley by my side I am committing a deception on all those around me.


Anonymous said...

We all commit that deception! I think you are a normal family. You are such a beautiful person. It is very easy to talk to you. John makes me laugh..sometimes at my gullible expense =) Ronans' kindness and brilliance is so fun to be around. Riley liking my deep voice when I enter the room makes me stop complaining about being an Alto. So I think your family is very normal...scratch that... better than normal. I wish their were more families our lives like yours.

Rileys Smile said...

You are pretty wonderful too! The boys are off school this week if you are in our direction perhaps you could join us for dinner one evening? You've been on my mind! We miss you!