Birthday celebrations

K-Oz just celebrated his 12th birthday this past week. Time passes so fast and as a parent, I can’t help but think back to when he was born. Since he is my oldest – he was my guinea pig. I was 24 when K-Oz was born and I read everything I could about being a new mom and having a new baby. I probably read too much – I thought a lot about the things that could go wrong during pregnancy and with a newborn.

I worked at the local health department while I was pregnant – in the maternal and child health program. I was a secretary so I received lots of reports of high risk pregnancies, adverse pregnancy outcomes and special needs children. Sometimes too much knowledge isn’t the best thing – I would have rather been oblivious to the things that could happen to my baby, but later it would come back to serve me well.

When he was born healthy – I was overjoyed. Although, I would have cherished him even if he’d been born with extreme problems. In retrospect, what scared me when I was a naive 24-year-old first-time mom, prepared me for what was to come in later years. I was already familiar with various special needs and knew when something wasn’t right with K-Oz. I was able to recognize that certain things he was doing were considered “normal development.”

As my son grows and I watch him, I can’t help but wonder what the next leg of the journey will bring. He stands on the cusp of being a teenager and eventually a man – how will his special needs affect that journey? I can only watch and wait and pray that there will be more joy than heartache in this particular journey. As a parent – that is the only option – at least the only one I am willing to choose.