I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Not your average every day Super Hero's....

When I say Super Hero’s DO exist, it’s with absolute belief and satisfaction in knowing this. I’ve seen and heard it. Nope, I am not crazy. Well, a little, but who’s keeping score? LOL When I write Super Hero, it’s with those capital letters again! Why? Because they are words that describe some incredible people who deserve that recognition and importance that comes with the capital letters in writing. Oh hell…they just deserve the recognition. They deserve so much more than that.

In order to give ya’ll some explanation on this, I have to give you a bit of back story. Picture it, Washington; the sun is shining for once and ….. jk…I did have to go all Sophia on Golden Girls! I couldn’t help myself, honest lol. But back to it….I was going through one of the toughest times of my entire life. I was battling postpartum depression among a million things. Christopher was born that summer. My worry over my Mom was getting more intense and I thought for sure we were going to lose her in that last year. She was getting sick again, flu that turned into pneumonia, and we didn’t know what the hell we could do. There’s more there, but that’s a posting for another time. My cousin was stationed in Guam during her short stint in the Air Force. She was working on her sobriety after a horrible accident and dealing with the break up with an abusive boyfriend. It was a hard point in her life too. During one of our many talks and emails, I decided that we should be Super Hero’s and we deserved capes. Our whole thing was that we were going to be Super Heroes who could conquer anything. We could race to the call of someone that was in need of saving from emotional destruction, sadness, anything negative. We would fight the good fight and go to battle with the bad guys who caused it. We could make the world a better place. We had these moments in email of hilarious dialog along with our regular chats and it DID make me feel better. It made us feel like we could actually change things for ourselves. Even though I’m not estranged from my family in many ways, I hold this to my heart as a little bit of hope that I CAN and WILL change things for the ones I love and myself.

Fast forward a few years later when my oldest two started school. Christopher was 5 when others started to comment on his movements and his tendency to race around everywhere. I swear that boy didn’t walk he ran! Right out of the gate too! LOL It was hard of course as a parent to hear that, or watch the looks. When he started Kindergarten, he was barely 5. He turned five three months before that. So he was a bit younger than most of his classmates. At the end of the school year his teacher approached me about having him held back because of his “issues”. I told her no, and I would look into having him checked out. She didn’t like it, but what could she do? It still irritates me ten years later. Over the next two years and many appointments, and frustration we found out that yes Christopher has ADHD. He’s on the scale close to severe. He told me once that it makes him feel like his head is busy all the time. That one was hard to swallow! Then comes the dx’s of OCD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), OCD (Obsessive  Compulsive Disorder), Tourette’s, and sleep issues. It was so overwhelming, and I felt so lost. My husband was shocked and didn’t know what to do for the most part. Although he also has ADHD. It’s so hard to become used to all of it.

It was during that time when my son became worried that just because his cousin Dingus (not using his real name for a lot of reasons. ) shared the same disorders that he would end up like him. Dingus was about 8 years older than my son. He made a lot of bad choices and was in and out of juvie and running away. It was hard on my son because he did love him so much. It took 2 years and some counseling to help him to cope and to understand that it wasn’t the disorders but Dingus’ choices he made. He understood that Dingus had to deal with the consequences. Ironically, it’s one of the reasons why my son has always said he wanted to be a cop. So he could help others.

My oldest daughter ended up being diagnosed with ADHD and later on a form of epilepsy along with sleep and anxiety issues. My youngest was diagnosed with ADD and a developmentally delay that put her behind considerably from her peers. It was so hard on my heart. It was becoming hard on them too, because here’s something new they had to deal with.

So that brought in the Super Hero thing again. We told the kids that they were Super Heros with awesome powers!  We taught them that they ARE different than others in some ways because they have the abilities to do things others don’t think of, can’t or won’t. For example, it helped my son with his quick wit and his sense of humor. He has the ability to turn just about any negative moment into a positive with some of his humor escaping and a hand on the shoulder or hug to comfort you. Which is huge, since he has issues with personal space? Otelia can come up with this big long dialogue from whatever someone has said, and make up this believable at times. She can turn something around to make it easier to deal with. She gives the hugs we all need to make it through. Maelynne is our Nurse. She will fix you up, tell you what to do, and make anything better. She treats you with such love and strength. She’s empathetic to others, even the people who pick at her when they’re hurt. She can be the best person to have in some situations.

All of these things make up their powers. See what I mean? They can truly do things others don’t, won’t, don’t think of. They’ve saved me more times than not from so much. I’d be lost without them. An old friend once told me that a parent of a Special Needs child is blessed. Because God gave them to us because he knew we would do right by them and help them. It made me cry and be more understanding towards it all. It kept me going in the mix too. Now, yes not all parents are truly that way, but it’s true for most of us! My kids STILL talk about super powers and being Super Hero’s. Why? Because they believe in helping others, and paying it forward. Just as much as I do! Mind you they’re now 15,14 and 11 respectfully. So they understand better now than then. They’re not embarrassed about it either.

In fact, recently one of my closest friends told me that they do the Super Hero thing at their house. Her son is Autistic. Gosh I love him sooooo much! He’s a doll! So now, he’s a Super Hero too! In fact his sister made him a cape! I’ll post it at the end along with a pic of Mae in her make shift cape. When I was told this by my little cuppie cake, I was shocked. It took my breath away, and later, I cried. Because she gave me so much hope. So much more understanding and healed a crack in my heart with those simple words. It felt like I had conquered one more of those moments that my cousin and I had talked about it many moons ago. It made me feel like I could do anything now…it’s humbling for sure. It makes my heart sing and I am so incredibly honored.
In closing my friends, no matter how hard it is to be a parent, and a parent of special needs kids, there is hope. They have the best super powers and they deserve a cape too. Maybe start this in your house, focus on some of the better things they are capable of. Get them a cape too! Talk to them about it, and why you say they are Super Heros. They deserve that and so much more. Hug your kids a bit more today, make every moment count for something and just share the love. I would love to hear any of your stories too! I’ll even post them here if you’d like. Thank you all….for allowing me to share. <3 I’m not perfect, but I’m trying to share….for my own sanity.

Now I’m outtie!
Have some cake with a big glass of milk,
Share with your family and rejoice in the day!

With Love,
Shani

My daughter Mae from a few years ago:


My Super Hero Buddy
(posted with permission)






3 comments:

  1. I am so glad you started this blog. It really brings a smile to my face with every post. More people need to realize they too are Super Heroes. My cousin's son is autistic and he is an amazing young man. I applaud you and the cuppie friend for being to totally amazing!!! Love you both and the various others in our close-knit little world for not just being a friend...but for also being my Super Heroes!

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  2. I swear I'm gonna smack every person who makes me cry today! LOL LOL LOL You are so right and this blog has done wonders for me....I'm helping myself in that way too and it's just...better. Ty for all the love and beautiful words. It makes my heart full!

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  3. I understand that when you began this, I'm sure you only thought of it as venting, and organizing your thoughts. I doubt very much that you thought you would be inspiring, and hope-giving, and creating community...but you have, and you are. Excuse me, I'm going shopping for fabric for my cape....silver lame', I think....

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