We have to start this story back in very early spring. I hate long, drawn out stories as much as you do, Blogfans, but it needs to start at the beginning.
In one of the last storms of winter, the mesh covering for one of the vents on our soffit fell down, leaving a gaping hole in the underside of my overhang. It was one of those bastard places to get to, where you really have nowhere to put the ladder, so you have to lay on your belly at the edge of the roof and pray to god that you don't tumble off.
Needless to say, we let it go for a while. While we were away for a long weekend, a family of starlings moved into the hole, and started dragging grass and twigs and stuff up there to nest. Upon our return we saw that there was not just a nest up there, but there were also broken egg shells on the ground under the hole. The starlings had started a family.
The Hubbin' was insistent that the birds needed to be evicted ASAP. "But there are babies in there!" I protested. "Just wait until the babies fly away, and then we can scoot the nest out and seal it up."
I want you to go back and read that sentence again, Blogfans. I stuck up for those birds. I am the only reason they are alive right now. Me.
Against The Hubbin's better judgment, he listened to me, and the birds stayed. The weather grew warmer, and the baby birds grew louder. Starting around 4:45am, they start peeping for food. And they do so every 40 minutes or so until the sun sets. It grew so loud that it would wake my five year old up from a sound sleep. She would bang on her window and yell "Moooom!! The birds are too noisy again!"
The Hubbin' again offered to dispose of the nest, but not wanting the babies to be abandoned, I firmly declined.
And that's how life went for a while.
I pulled in the driveway, a car loaded with groceries, and two grouchy children. I got the kids out of the car, and then grabbed as many groceries bags as I could carry. We started to walk across the lawn to the front door. A few steps in, a bird landed in front of us.
"Look! A bird!" Sissy squealed. "Peep peep!" the bird replied to her. We looked at the bird for a few seconds. The bird look at us, with it's sweet little bird face. We Oooh'd and Ahh'd, and then stepped around the bird onto the sidewalk.
This is where it went downhill.
The bird flew in front of us and landed on the sidewalk. It flapped its wings and screeched at us. "Get out of here! Shoo!" I said to the bird, showing it I wasn't afraid.
Lucas, still thinking this whole situation was fun, laughed and said "Awwww, cuuuuuute!!! Bird!" The bird responded by hopping forward and pecking Lucas' bare toes several times in rapid succession.
I dropped my grocery bags and picked up my screaming baby, who was tucking himself into turtle pose. I told Sissy to follow me, and we hurried towards the door. But the bird was quick! And clever! He flew past us, landing on our porch, squawking his obscenities at us. I rattled my keys at him. I yelled. I hopped up and down, but the bird wouldn't budge. Finally, I kicked at it, and my flip flop flew off of my foot and scared the bird. "Quick!" I said, unlocking the door, and putting Lucas down inside.
Unfortunately, Sissy, spooked by the whole ordeal had run back towards the car. I stood on my porch, my groceries spilled on the sidewalk, and my daughter crying by the car. I took a step forward, and that sneaky little ninja bird popped up from the step and started pecking at my bare foot. But this time I was prepared. Broom in hand, I bravely started poking towards the bird. The broom didn't have quite the effect I had hoped for. Actually, I think the bird laughed at the broom.
So I hauled back and batted the bird with the broom. It flew far. "Run, Sissy!" I yelled. My girl tore across the lawn and into the house. "That bird was fresh!" she said, peering at me through the screen. I nodded and made my way down the steps to recover my groceries from the walkway.
Just as I happened upon my kaiser rolls, the bird made a kamikaze swoop at me, squawking with a vengeance. I screamed and covered my head, afraid the bird would somehow get stuck in my hair*. The bird landed on the ground, standing firm between me and my groceries.
Alright, Saki, I thought to myself. You're like a billion times bigger than that bird. Get your shit, and go in the house.
The bird must be a legilimens because he knew my plan inside and out, and responded with a resounding bird cry of "Oh heeeeeell naw." The bird went in for the kill, pecking, swooping, bucking and lunging. I screamed, and feebly batted my hands about, all while doing an elaborate dance to save my naked toes.
Through squinted eyes I saw my neighbor, a kind and soft spoken retiree, sauntering across the road, a bag in his hand. He marched up to the bird, and in one fell swoop captured it in a bag.
"Go ahead and get your groceries, Dear. I'll take care of him." he said, offering a kind smile.
"Thank you!" I called to him, as he walked slowly back to his side of the road.
Twelve months have passed since "everything" started with Lucas.
Twelve months ago, he was not walking.
Twelve months ago, he was not talking.
Twelve months ago, we had our first meeting with intervention services, who referred us to ortho, who referred us to neuro, who launched our catapult into the special needs community.
It was a community that at the time, we were devastated to join. We vacillated between denying there was anything wrong, and trembling with fear about what might be wrong.
We still don't have a diagnosis that encompasses all of the puzzle pieces. But I do know this - there is nothing "wrong" with my boy.
When we meet new people, and it comes to light that we have a child with special needs, most people respond with a sympathetic "I'm so sorry." Well, I'm here to tell you this - don't be sorry. I'm not. Lucas is a smart, loving, sweet boy. He gives 150% all the time. He throws his whole heart into everything he does. There is nothing for anyone to be "sorry" about.
It was something that I'm embarrassed to say I didn't understand until Lucas' struggles became apparent. I never understood when parents said "My special needs child is a blessing." I get it now. I completely understand and embrace it now.
Twelve months have gone by.
We still have our struggles, and we still have our sad moments, but we keep moving forward with our heads held high.