To get married you need a license. To own a dog (legally) you need
a license. When you get married you make vows and promises
to one another...for example, in sickness and in health. To have
a child most people can just get pregnant and have a baby. This
child that is brought in to the world is not promised anything. Some
pet owners have their pets lo-jacked so that if the pet gets lost the
owners can find them. A child is told to hold your hand.
Harlan and I chose to have children. It was a process because
we knew that the ‘old fashioned’ way just wasn’t possible due to
having a tubal ligation many years ago. To get pregnant we had to
have tests, go through procedures and submit to the possibility that
we may never be able to have children. Because we wanted the
child(ren) and were really looking forward to being a family we had
to pay quite a bit of money.
A parent doesn’t need to make promises and vows to their child. A
parent doesn’t need to cater to the needs of the child. Children just
come to some families whether they are really wanted or not. When
you have a child you don’t even have to keep the baby. You don’t
have to take care of the baby in a way that would put you on the
cover of Parents magazine.
I have a child whose needs are more intense than other children.
I have a child who has needs that are not visible physically.
Benjamin’s neurological needs can make any day stressful and some
days everything is fine. Benjamin has epilepsy, sensory integration
disorder, ADHD and has recently been diagnosed with depression
and anxiety. Because his disabilities are not apparent, caring for him
and showing everyone how he suffers is difficult. You can’t see the
part of his body that is betraying him.
Even though a vow is not necessarily made when a child is born I
have made vows to each of my children. I have vowed to take care
of them when times are good and when times just plain suck. My
children know (I hope) that I don’t get mad when they are sick or
hurt. I hope they know that I will do everything in my power to
make sure that life is fair to them. I will do what ever I can to heal
them, to create a sense of well being that they will remember for the
rest of their lives.
Benjamin is a child. He cannot care for himself. I am his mother.
I carried him for 31 weeks inside me, praying every single day that
he would be healthy and happy. Right now he is not happy. He is
healthy...physically...mentally? Not so much. He is in need of help
that I cannot give him. Ben needs to be able to express himself
without fear of hurting someone or reprisal. Benjamin needs help.
As his mom I vow to get it for him.