My dreams for him are part of a collection, not unlike the one I envision for my first three children. His is more vibrant though, brilliant in experience, a panorama of color, sharp in the sounds of nature meeting city. My dreams for my precious son with the extra special needs are so very simple, but so detailed in their complexity.
An IEP meeting seems an unlikely place for making wishes or disclosing dreams, but I've decided it's as good a place as any and perhaps luckier than a wishing well. My dreams don't feel like luck. No, they feel intense, deliberate, a need for a concretic path that doesn't yet exist. Amos is the mystery to unlock for which there is no key, no number combination, no diet, no therapy, no real mystery left unsolved. Explanations would be helpful, certainly more information is available and needed, but today I realized that my dreams for Amos are actually far different than the ones for his siblings.
Dreams sound better than IEP goals to me and shouldn't they be the same? When our Amos was not yet born, I dreamt of a fourth child, often a boy, the quintessential tagalong. Someone that chugged behind two big brothers and a doting older sister and screeched, "mine!" It wasn't long before I realized my Amos was not like the others. I waited and waited for him to smile. Two weeks, three weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, and at twelve weeks, I captured the moment of success in the mind of the sweetest fellow I had ever known.
Today I dream that Amos will smile when he sees children his own age, engage with them someday even, but for now, a smile would be the treasure I long to collect. I dream that Amos will share his wants and needs, his likes and dislikes, and express the way he feels, not through crying and writhing and frustration. I dream that Amos may be one of the gang some day, a child that greets other children upon sight. I don't dare disclose that my dream for Amos is to be an average kindergartener. I don't dare unleash that one yet, not here, not yet, not in writing. It's too scary.
The days of having a physician or a scientist have gone by me. What do I value? What do I long for in Amos' future? I want him to be happy and I want to get to know him, not guess who he is as I do now. I want him to be the best Amos he can be and I long to unlock the words that I know are buried in there somewhere. My dreams for Amos ebb and flow and the gift of perspective has been the gift of a dream I didn't know existed. To know life intimately as a special needs parent is not the dream I had for myself. I didn't know anyone or anything this spectacular even existed on earth.
My dreams for Amos.