Today, I caught a friend online and chatted with her for a while. She has been ‘missing’ for quite a while and I was just wondering what happened to her. I gave her a buzz and asked how she was doing. She said she was tired as she just got home and her eyes felt heavy. The last time I had spoken to her, she was telling me that she had some projects going on and that why she was busy and did not come online. And so I thought she has just gotten home from work too.
“Janus graduated today! And he got 3 awards for best in Science and being word smart and nature smart! I am so proud of him!” I can almost see the excitement in her face. It was like hearing her ‘screaming’ through the instant messages. “I’m proud of him too. Janus is so smart!” I ‘shouted’ back through the instant message’s window. What can I say, positive energy sure is contagious!
They had just gotten back from a simple celebration. I saw the personalize message alongside with her nick that said ‘upset’ and I asked her, “What’s wrong? Why are you upset?” She told me that she cried today because she was sharing her story. Up to now, you might be saying, “So it’s a graduation. What is the big deal?” Janus is a special child; meaning a child with special needs. Children with special needs may have mild learning disabilities or profound mental retardation; food allergies or terminal illness; developmental delays that catch up quickly or remain entrenched; occasional panic attacks or serious psychiatric problems.
According to my friend, Janus has gotten motor skill challenges (I am not too sure if this is a correct term to use) which means that he has some challenges in movement. For example, it is difficult for him to stand for too long. Besides that, he has challenge in speaking normally too. In so speaking, Janus has to go through therapy program everyday to help him to cope with his daily life. Other than that, he is just like any other kids who has his dreams too. He loves car of any kinds and drew numerous picture of cars. And his mother told me that he is a ‘cupboard monster,’ who sometimes messes up the cupboard. I have to agree with that as I had personally seen him doing that.
I asked my friend why she cried when she shared her story? She said that in her speech to the other parents, she told them that even though Janus is a special child, she has never felt ashamed or embarrass whenever she was out with Janus. She has always been proud of him. Come to think of it, throughout the period that I have known her, I have never never heard her complaining or saying a bad things about Janus before; when she spoke of Janus, she is always excited and proud. She shared in the speech that there were times when they were in the mall and people would just tease Janus or poke fun at him or laugh at him and some of them would even follow them just to see Janus’s movements. She said, “Despite that, I am still proud of Janus and I have never thought of hiding him up.” To that, she thanked the people in the school for accepting Janus for who he is and nothing less.
“Janus is really special to me and I know that someday he will achieve what he wants. He has one thing that the others don’t have.” She said. I waited for her to carry on. “Janus is willing to make it better. Although he has challenges in movement, he never failed to practice everyday.” She proudly said. And she told me that she must congratulate her son too because one of Janus’s dreams was to be promoted to Grade 1. She shared that last year Janus was not able to make it because he had challenge in writing. She is thankful that he is alright now.
At this point, she was already crying and on seeing that, Janus said through the microphone, “I love you, Mami.” There were a moment of silence in the hall and she could see some people were crying too. And do you know why she is so proud with Janus? Although Janus has difficulty standing, he stood throughout the whole period when she was speaking! He made it!
And just a moment ago while I was chatting with her, she asked Janus, “Why didn’t you cry just now?” Guess what he said? “Because I controlled my emotion.” Was it my vision failing me or was it raining …
I must say, I am not only proud of Janus, but I am also very proud of my friend! Truly a classic example of unconditional love.