Teddy is the light of my life and my greatest consternation. I do so wish I understood his world as he does. I try, but I end up not being able to imagine how he is as compassionate as he is and also can't do things so many things he seems so close to doing.
OK, none of this make sense unless you know Teddy. He turns 24 next Friday and there is a part of him that is inextricably 24. He spends his time thinking about sex, politics, music, and sports - in various orders. He keeps his stuff neat and clean without discussion. He does his own laundry and never has to be reminded. He cooks dinner many nights and tells me what we need from the grocery store. He is a very responsible young man.
But he is also more like a young teenager - he sleeps for as many hours in a day as I allow. On the weekends it in not rare for him to sleep 12-14 hours. Who needs that much sleep? He goes off to camp for a week- with a weeks worth of clothes - and most of them come back clean. His desires for the future are more like what a young teenager aspires for - a red corvette, a hot girlfriend, his own house with a pool and a place for guys to hang out, and have a business where he goes to an office and does little more than answer phones. Just a tad shy of realistic.
He is also like an older child. He adores me and tells me everything that happens in his life. There are no secrets. He likes to snuggle. He likes to draw pictures. I still have a bit more influence than his peers. He still enjoys me singing the songs I have sung him since he was a baby. This part of him I never want to let go of, but imagine someday I might just have to.
And he is also like a very young child. He can't read and can't make sense of why I seem so aggravated that he doesn't see the consistency that letters in words present. He also can't do math- actually it is more he has very little sense of numbers. Ask him to bring you three things and he is just as likely to bring 2 or 5 as 3. And he cries. Not just cries. But cries in utter despondency over TV shows and movies, hurt animals in the road, accidents we pass by - and if it is more personal it takes him over for days.
Sometimes I feel like I live with a whole bunch of people. But it is just Teddy.
Some of this can be attributable to Down syndrome, but some of it cannot. Some of it is attributable to my hard work trying to support him being the best he can be, but some of it is just who Teddy is. Sometimes I look at my son and marvel at who he is - and other times I look and want to cry because I know what a struggle he has ahead to have the life he wants. My son is the best thing that ever happened to me. Through this blog I expect you will get to know him very well.