The compare game is tough. I thought I was done playing many months ago, but it creeps back in unexpectedly, and now I wonder if it’s even possible to stop. This morning, while in a perfectly good mood, I drove past an elementary school and saw a group of little boys kicking a ball around. I nearly burst into sudden tears! I’m generally pretty good at insulating myself from the thoughts that follow: will A ever run, be motivated to kick a ball, have friendly peers, have this kind of fun, be a little boy at play? I let myself consider he might be the lonely kid in the corner, kicking at dirt, muttering to himself, being made fun of… no. It’s too heart-breaking. It’s also too far into the future. A bridge we’ll cross in time… or will we?
I know E will to some extent be A’s guardian at school. The thought makes me want to have tens more children, build an army behind him, to wrestle to the ground anything that threatens the well-being of their beautiful brother. How silly and primal that sounds, but how footed in the real world. I can fool myself into thinking kids are growing to be more accepting, with each generation of growing acceptance, but really kids are kids and differences are targets and man, A will be different… or will he be?
I can try to piece together a future, but not really. I don’t know what will be, or even close. That’s part of the difficulty in being A’s mom. And it’s part of the wonder and greatness. A could become an athlete, maybe even the cool jock at school. Or he might be the strange kid in the library. Or not. Or everything.
The tears didn’t come because I know I don’t know, and I won’t know until it happens. And that might be later than typical, but I can stave off sadness for as long as it takes, and likely in that time these thoughts will have dissolved anyway, into the nothingness that comparison gives you.