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.
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.