Since having Joshua, my personality has changed; in several ways I am no longer the woman I once was:
- I have become more feisty/bolshy and will not suffer fools gladly. The issues that we face with Joshua, on a daily basis, mean that I have little patience for people who worry about apparent trivia.I have never been interested in spectator sports but I cannot get worked up about the ins and outs of the football season or other competitions for example. We are having our lounge re-decorated as part of an insurance claim, and I find it difficult to get too worked up about paint colour charts, although I know it will look great when it is finished.
- That being said, I am also a better listener than I was pre-Joshua. I do open myself up to listen to other parents’ experiences and not because I feel that I should, but because I am genuinely interested in their lives and opinions. I work in market research and so my day-job is asking questions and finding out about a variety of things, without imposing my own opinions. And I think I apply those principles when I speak with friends and other parents of special children too
- I no longer sleep like i used to, even if Joshua does not wake me up,I find that my body or mind wakes me up, so I am regularly witnessing sunrises these days, hence my ‘early musings’. I guess over the years, my body has adapted to manage on less sleep than most.
- my emotions are very close to the surface: I have inherited a tendency to cry easily but now I can readily sob at a reading at Joshua’s school carol service, when I know the boy involved and the real achievement in him getting through it. In fact, I sobbed all the way through the first school Harvest festival that I went to and as I stood at the church doors as the children filed out, I kept being asked if I was ok but they were ‘happy tears’ .Similarly , I always find Joshua’s Annual Review at school emotional. This year I held it together for 90 minutes, then Joshua entered the room, grinned at us all and hugged his dad and I lost it, being so proud of our little ray of sunshine.
- Both my husband and I are now more at ease with children and adults with special needs now; in the past we might have been wary if a child grabbed our clothing to sniff it or invaded our personal space, by placing their face right in front of ours, but now we are able to handle ‘odd’ behaviour and respond in a kinder way. We would never have been rude before, but now we can handle it more comfortably so that, hopefully, we do not make a scene and in fact, I would go out of my way now to engage with a child or adult with special needs
All in all, has having Joshua in our lives made us better human beings? who can say….