To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others. - Pope John Paul II
When we learned that our 2nd born child would be a boy, both my husband and I began to imagine what ‘life with boys’ would be like. Our first child, who was quite the girly girl at the time, was all about frilly dresses, dainty dolls, and the color pink. The idea of adding another blessing to the family, and knowing that that blessing would be a boy, filled us with great excitement. We imagined our future would include little blue outfits, Tonka trucks, and scraped knees. We imagined rough and tumble play and making mud pies in the backyard. We imagined we’d one day be sitting on the sidelines at a sporting event cheering him on. We imagined all sorts of typical-boy milestones and super star achievements. Never could we have imagined how far from typical our son would actually be.
Our pride and joy, Ronan still is a super star. He excels in areas that other kids have, but they’ve long surpassed the few capabilities he’s worked years to attain. Dressing himself. Feeding himself. Entertaining himself. It’s taken much, much longer for him to learn about the skill, to want to address the skill, and then to actually master the skill.
Small steps and sometimes even smaller baby steps have gotten Ronan to where he is today. While we’d both love for him to be able to catch up to where his siblings and age-mates are developmentally, we know that for Ronan to accomplish things, it has to be at his pace. That can be hard.
As many years into this journey that we are, the realization that Ronan is still so far behind can make us emotional. We know that Ronan won’t follow in his father’s footsteps and tinker with cars or motorcycles.
He won’t be able to join the military like Daddy did either.