An old photo from April 2009. Corrigan was not feeling the ears.
He doesn’t know what an egg is, nor would he understand the concept of “hiding” one. He doesn’t know my name, let alone the Easter Bunny’s. “But Easter isn’t about the bunny” they say and it is true, but try explaining Jesus to a child that is only just now enjoying a game of peek-a-boo. You mean when you put your hands in front of your eyes, you are still here? Fanstatic game, Mom! Or should I say “woman that takes great care of me but I have no word to identify her.” Four years old and he doesn’t call me Mom. He doesn’t know, or comprehend, the idea of names and using them. At least not for people. Sure, Jesus should be a piece of cake to explain.
So I wander around Walmart in a foul mood. There won’t be a basket full of candy for my boy with the severely restricted diet. There won’t be eggs hid in the yard like we did for his brother for more than a decade. I will take him to church but he won’t pay attention to the lessons in his class, or color when instructed, or eat a snack when it is time, or be calm and peaceful. He won’t be bouncing with energy from the jelly beans consumed before the car left for Sunday service, and he won’t be looking forward to the chocolate bunny after Easter dinner.
He will be uncomfortable in his Easter clothes and he will hide in the corner, tearing puzzles apart but not putting them back together. At some point, I will need to give him nutrition through the tube in his stomach, which will pique the curiosity of 10 other perfectly healthy children…neurotypical blessings that can ask questions like “what is that pink stuff?” and “does it hurt him when you do that?” My own child cannot even form a proper question, let alone show awareness about what another child is going through, or might be feeling. He will get absolutely nothing out of church, other than probably another cold.
Sunday will just be another day in Corrigan’s life. Sure, he will have a different routine and he will see more faces than he normally does, but it won’t stand apart in any way that he will understand. Much like his birthday two months from now. The one that will come and go just like Easter. With no understanding of “years old” or why people are bringing him gifts. He will smile when people sing “Happy Birthday” but he won’t have any friends here to play little 4-year old games, or bounce in anticipation of birthday cake. It will just be another day.
Just like every single day is.
I know that he is only 4 years old (almost) but Corrigan doesn’t seem that much different than last Easter, he is making great strides socially but in other areas it is like we are stuck on “pause.” I have heard “this is the year he will catch up” for a long time now. I don’t know that Corrigan ever will “catch up” and it makes holidays, as they keep on coming, harder and harder to enjoy in the way we are used to. They are always tinged with a little defeat. Corrigan is only getting older, and these things are far more apparent and I do not have enough experience in swallowing down the sadness. Not yet. Yes, I know. Blessings, I should count them. I do. Oh my word, I do.
But I am only human and this stuff is hard.