Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Parenting Decisions

Having a child means having to make decisions. Some decisions are easier than others. The first big decision is picking out a name for that new baby, or it may be even deciding TO get pregnant! Jacob was an easy child. There weren't a lot of "hard" decisions to be made with him. I decided to breast feed, we picked out a sitter, what kind of formula and so on. As Jacob has gotten older there have been harder decisions. One of the hardest things I did was let him go on an overnight trip at school. He did great, of course, but I was a basket case. He was in 5th grade and a mature kid, but OH it was hard. There will be more decisions ahead...letting him take the car for his first solo drive after getting his license, trusting him to make good choices when he is off with his friends, and later allowing him to leave home to go to college or just live on his own and work. Of course, he may choose to stay here a while! Ha!

There were a lot more decisions to be made for Elijah: To implant him or not when we found out he was deaf. Choosing doctors for all of his issues. Choosing a school when he was THREE and then letting him ride a bus to and from school at this time too. Choosing to put him in a behavior classroom due to his behavior with tourettes, OCD and ADHD. Again, there are more and more decisions that will have to be made as Elijah gets older. I think the hardest thing will be "growing him up" meaning letting go of my baby and expecting more from him. I have done that to a certain extent, but it will only get harder as he gets older.

I guess I now know why my mom worried so much about me, but she let me make my decisions as I grew up and learn from my mistakes. I hope I can do the same for my own kids.

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