Sunday 13 February 2022

Our kids for Valentines

Did you know that spouses and lovers are not the most popular recipients of valentines day cards? I a few days teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards (even though they are on half-term!) and this is followed closely by children, then mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets! Having had three crushes on teacher's I can see why, and now as mum to three, the love I have for my precious bundles is huge - and as much for all may kids, additional needs and not.

I once remember talking to a friend awaiting the birth of their second child and they said to me:

"How will I be able to love another child like the first.  I love our little girl so much."

And I said:

"It's like each time you grow another heart."

Sometimes it can seem that my kids are hard to love.  They are of course challenging, but they are not harder to love because of their difficulties. I grew an extra heart for all my kids and I love the individuals they are.  Anthony is so true and brave, David has the most delightful laugh and I think Jane wants to make the world a better place.

And this is just one thing about each of them.  A while ago I asked some other parents of special educational needs kids and siblings what they loved about their kids and I'm sharing them here to celebrate them for Valentines Day.

I love how amazing my little man's memory is. Once he has a focus he will remember names and details that I haven't even picked up on. 

I love that despite my daughter being unable to speak, she can communicate her love clearly 😍❤️

I love how my son finds happiness in the simple things in life..makes you pause and appreciate them too...also his younger sister who also has Sen I love how she has embraced sign language to enable her to communicate 

I love that my autistic daughter has an amazing imagination and can create stories - and she gets really involved in a topic. Just like right now, when I sat down for my quiet tea, and she comes in and is telling me all about an event at the Science museum that she wants to run for her Superkids club (children aged 6-9, that she wants to set up and run herself 😏). And she uses such funny learnt phrases that I’d never use in a million years, like ‘they answer the questions, and then rinse and repeat’

I love how enthusiastic my autistic daughter gets about things others would take for granted or not notice, for example a robin chirping in the garden; her attention to detail and that at 13 she’s got no body issues. I also love that she loves cuddles! I love that my autistic son has a passion for football, that he absorbs football facts like a sponge and that he plays in a football team and is a team player.

I love that Harry constantly surprises me ...whether it’s with his new words or his skills. I’m blessed to feel the excitement and elation that new parents feel as they celebrate the ‘firsts’.

I love how empathetic my eldest daughter is towards everyone she meets. Growing up with Jude as her brother has given her a vision that not many people are gifted with. She cares so much and will help anyone who needs it 

I love how determined, strong willed and patient Lyla is. I wish I had an ounce of her determination. There are so many things I love about her big brother but focusing on his life as a sibling of a child with a severe disability, I love how much he loves her and how he wants to make her laugh and thinks she is really funny. It’s such a gorgeous relationship. 

His smile. And the way he curls his hair round and round his peanut-buttery/baked-bean-covered fingers. But mostly that smile - it melts hearts big time. Even mine just after he's thrown something hard at me. 

I love hi grateful my son is every single time he gets food...even when I have cooked it! He is the only person who actually loves my cooking. Maybe his visual impairment means he doesn’t care how it looks and his sensory seeking means as long as it tastes educable it’s fine!

And what I love most about my eldest is that she cares about me and her sister so much. And despite being shy and not very confident, she has thrown herself into trying things (eg fencing) that I never thought she would. 

I’m ever amazed and proud by his twin brother Oliver. Mature, understanding, full of empathy and love. Their bond is beautiful. 

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