The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express train was in our area today, so we took the opportunity to go visit! After a morning (and early afternoon) full of lessons, we loaded up with my sister and nephew and headed out!
The Holiday Express is a holiday train. (I can’t call it a “Christmas” train because, sadly, I saw nothing that acknowledged Christ as the Reason we celebrate Christmas.) We met some of Santa’s “helpers” while we were in line.
We entered the caboose.
We saw Pooh “bringing up the rear” as we were waiting to go in . . .
And saw Santa when we finally got inside. (And no, we don’t “do” Santa, but it was part of the tour.)
Then we got to tour a few more cars. One was full of a tiny city with trains (KCS, I’m sure) zooming around the countryside.
There was also a car full of every type of Santa “doll” you can imagine. It was mostly white, for some reason.
We had a good time, and I’m glad we went. But as I watched the girls and the other children we were in line with, I realized, again, that my precious Roo is different. She is beautiful, sweet, wonderful, and smart, but she is different. She is starting to notice that she’s not like everyone else too, and that makes me sad.
Roo is my child with special needs. I’m only beginning to come out of denial (yes, after 5.5 years) and realize that I am the parent of a special needs child. She was so much healthier than PD for the first several months that I considered her my “healthy baby” until last year, although she had already had two sinus surgeries and was still struggling. The surgeries, allergy diagnoses, gastrointestinal issues, and restricted diet didn’t make me acknowledge that she’s different. (Can we say it together now? De-ni-al.) I finally started to admit that “something was going on” last fall when we started her on immunoglobulin infusions after she was diagnosed with an immune deficiency. But I didn’t think she was that different from other kids, even though she complained about how her friends didn’t have to do infusions every week.
Then this year she had her third sinus surgery and was diagnosed with a mild speech delay, sensory processing disorder, and delayed fine motor and visual-motor skills. She started speech and occupational therapy. And my beautiful, bright, precious girl struggled to grasp the simplest fundamentals of reading and math, and it became obvious that she has learning disabilities too. And I realized . . . I have a special needs child.
I’m still grieving because it hurts me to see her struggle, and she has been through a lot. I am so proud of her because she’s making progress. She works hard and never gives up! It’s hard to let go of my ideas that she’s just ______ (fill in the blank with my excuse-of-the-day), and admit that she has special needs.
One of my first acts of acceptance was to become the Special Needs Director for The Homeschool Village. Another step is to join the Special Needs Blog Hop (button below) to connect with other parents of children with special needs.
I know that Roo is going to be just fine. We’re working on the delays and physical issues, and we’ve started using multisensory teaching methods that are working! She’s going to flourish and do everything God has planned for her to do.
I’m going to be fine too. I’ve just got some accepting to do.