Reposted from Onomastic by Onomastic
The son of friends of my mother was six years old when I first baby sat for them.
He could not sit up or control the movements of his head. He never would.
He would never crawl, stand, walk, feed himself, or run outside to play. He would never be able to ride a bike, play a video game, try out for sports, or learn how to drive a car. He would never be able to hug his parents and tell them he loved them.
He would always have the brain function of a three month old, no matter what birthday arrived - the 12th or 58th.
It was heartbreaking. And I was only an occasional baby sitter.
What his parents were and would deal with, beggared mind and heart.
At some point they were going to need far more help than a teenage babysitter could provide.
At some point he would become too big for his mom to lift. At some point, the physical demands of his care would become larger than their hearts.
At some point the constant heartbreak would become too much to bear. All the broken dreams of what he could have been, should have been, would pile up as each milestone passed, as the exhaustion of each day grew larger.
Eventually they had to place him in a specialized care facility. That was the last I heard of them.
I think they moved shortly thereafter, away from memories of all the shattered dreams of children and family.
I don't know if they found the infinite courage to try to have another child. Wouldn't blame them if they never did. Some risks are more than heart and soul can bear.
I never knew what the little boy's diagnosis was. There's a long list of things that can go wrong with a fetus.
Today, I've been thinking about him and his parents. Reading what Republican Legislators in Ohio and other states have been up to brought the family vividly to life again.