Wiping tears gently away from Conor’s little face I pull him in tight, trying my best to hug and kiss away what hurts his beautiful heart. I know that I may not ever find out what plays on his mind when he cries quietly to himself lying on his bed. I lie beside him when his tears flow all too easily and tell him repeatedly “Mammy loves Conor”, holding him tight I do my best to hug all his fears away, hoping if I hug him just tightly enough he will know and he will feel all the love I have for him.
Moments like this are the hardest to bear as I would do absolutely anything to help him speak, so that finally we would hear all the lovely things he wants to say. I never imagined all those years ago when his words stopped that almost 6 years later we would still be hoping, wishing and waiting. In the years since his words faded away, I have learned so much from Conor without him ever uttering one single beautiful word.
Conor has taught me so much about myself, how I have and should view the world, to re-evaluate my life and what direction it was taking until I had him to love. Having Conor has taught me-
If you are ever lucky enough to meet my lovely Conor your breath will be taken away by his innocence and the love he has for everyone. He has never ever shown aggression, jealousy, meanness to anyone, not once. It is just physically/emotionally not in him to be that way. In his world everyone is just like him, happy to be alive, to have a family to love and to love him back. He doesn’t mind when Jack runs off (which he always does the little monster!) with his favorite toys or sweets, he just sort of smiles at Jack and has a giggle. He doesn’t chase after him to take them back he lets him have them.
He physically isn’t able to give kisses or hugs so he will come up beside you and put his little head in close to you so you know he wants to say he loves you.x It breaks my heart that I have never gotten a kiss from him and I would so love a hug, yet his own special way of letting me know he loves me makes me happy that he feels love.x
He will often go and sit in close to Hailey or dance around the kitchen with her. His huge smile and loud giggles tells me he is having fun and the love he has for his sister is obvious.
I have learned from Conor’s way of showing love to let go of what you can’t control, let go of any anger, hate, jealously you may have for any reason as there is no point to it. Life is too short, you only get one chance to live, why not live it happily in the best way you can.
Having Conor has taught me so much about the importance of family. Over the years when times have been seriously tough trying to help Conor, all of the hospital stays, all of the appointments, all of the setbacks, knock backs, unexpected bad news; the one thing that he has always had to support him and us is Family. I know when I close my door at night having kissed each of my little ones chubby cheeks goodnight I feel at peace knowing they are happy, healthy, living and breathing.
After having Conor and now with Jack diagnosed with Special Needs as well I have learned that you never take for granted tomorrow. Love your family today, call your family today because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Every time I see Conor’s reaction when he visits his two Grannies houses or sees his Grandads, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, it brings home to be how important family is to him.
I am incredibly lucky as I have 6 handsome brothers and 4 beautiful sisters that I know will look after Hailey and especially Conor & Jack when I am gone from this world. It is a worry all parents have but when you have children with special needs you worry constantly about what will happen to them when I am gone to Heaven, who will look after the boys then. My own parents, my lovely brothers and sisters have already told me that they will always look out for Hailey and the boys and for that I am eternally thankful.
Conor hasn’t many friends because all the children he knows his own age have Autism as well and are unable to communicate. I have learned from Conor that you don’t have to have a million friends to be happy. If you have a few really great friends that support you when the hard times come and don’t desert you then you know you are incredibly lucky and blessed.
Every year at Conor’s birthday party you won’t see loads of school friends because like Conor they really aren’t able to go to friend’s parties just yet (but hopefully someday soon!). It doesn’t bother Conor, he has his huge family around him and some very lovely little friends he has met through Hailey. Hailey’s best friend in the whole wide world- “Frida” she is an absolute angel and her big brother Oscar too.x They are Hailey’s friends but are Conor’s friends now too. Frida is always so lovely to baby Jack and Conor has a real soft spot for her. She always has a smile and lovely kind words to say.x
For so many people food is an issue, they worry they are too fat, too thin, need to put on weight, need to lose weight. I used to be like that, now I don’t care. I have seen Conor not eat at all for months at a time, I watch him fade away almost skeletal because of his Special Needs and when you think you might just lose your lovely baby boy it really makes you re-evaluate what is actually important in life. Whether I am a size 10 or a size 16 doesn’t bother me anymore. As long as my children can eat, drink, be healthy and live that is what I focus on. I think I might still have a weighing scales somewhere in my house but to tell you the truth I doubt if it even works lol! Maybe I broke it the last time I stood on it WOOPS! who knows! Wherever it is I hope it is warm from gathering dust lol!x
Conor always has a smile for everyone, to him everyone is nice and kind just like him. I know how hard it is on days when everything has gone wrong but you still have to face the world so your children can go to school, so you can bring them to their hospital appointments. On days when I just want to hide away I still have to keep going because my little lady and little boys need me to. Whenever I am in town or somewhere or other doing something for the boys, (I no doubt look dreadful, could seriously do with a makeover and a new wardrobe), I try to be kind to everyone I meet, even to the ones who are not so nice to meet. I always think you never know what someone is going through and when you consider all the people battling depression or who live extremely stressful lives like me, a smile may just make their day.
I always think what you put out there will come back to you. I try to always be kind and do good for others if I can, some will appreciate it, some will use you for it but in the end the good I put out will come back to me someday. So I always try to be kind to everyone I meet as you never just know what they are going through.
Conor LOVES music and dance!! He can bust a move like no other lol! I on the other hand will not be winning any awards any time soon for my musical exploits nor my dancing delights lol! Yet to Conor having a dance around the kitchen to his favorite song is the best thing in the world! It makes me re-consider being so self-aware or even bothered about other people’s possibly not so kind opinions of me.
Conor is completely oblivious to any one’s opinion, he just likes to dance and have fun, it can be at the till in our local shop when his favorite song comes on and you will see him bust a move lol! He doesn’t care if everyone in the shop stands up looking at this super hyper 5 year old doing his thing lol!
You don’t have to worry I won’t be busting a move any time soon but I do take on board the lesson Conor has taught me! It is to be happy to be me, do what I want as long as it isn’t hurting anyone. As those that matter to me won’t mind and those that mind, don’t matter.x
The biggest lesson I have learned by far from Conor is that what you say matters. The fact that Conor cannot say anything at all breaks my heart every single day. I dream at night sometimes that he can talk and we spend the whole night chatting about the last few years and he tells me all the things he has wanted to say for forever. I usually wake up from those dreams so so happy and then I remember and the tears start to fall. Even just writing that makes me cry because I always think if he could just talk he would have a real fighting chance.
Yet I watch Conor everyday, I know deep in my heart he wants to talk but can’t just yet. The way he communicates without words blows me away! I remember when he was less then 2 years old and wanted a drink of juice but of course we couldn’t understand what he wanted, so out he goes to the press and drags a bottle of Mi-wadi into us!
I always remind myself that just because he isn’t talking, it does not mean he can’t understand what I am saying. So I always am careful of what I say around Conor and even though I may already know the answer to the question I will always ask him what he wants, likes etc.
It makes me think as well to choose my words more carefully in my daily life, as all too easily we can make a remark to someone, about someone without any ill intent but the words have been said and the pain felt. So I always try to be mindful of my words.
Conor has taught me and continues to teach me every single day. I could write about him forever and a day. I am sure as the years go by I will learn more from my gorgeous boy then he will ever learn from me.
Tonight when he goes to bed, I will tuck him in tight, read him a favorite story or sing his favorite songs (sing them badly but sing them none the less for him), give him a huge hug, wait for him to bend his little head for a kiss and then I will say what I always say to him countless times a day, “Mammy loves Conor”, and with that I kiss his little face goodnight. xx