The other day I was filling my car up with gas on my way to a committee meeting. Both my kiddos were in the car since there was to be babysitting available, and they always like playing with other kids. The car in front of me had a mother who was obviously there for the same reason I was, and her kid was loudly protesting being strapped in while parked. I grinned a bit at her harried face and continued pumping. A few seconds later, I hear a childish voice piping along at a conversation speed with his mommy out the window of her car. I couldn’t help staring. He was probably two, and he was asking all those lovely why questions a little boy is supposed to ask at that age. Just going along at top speed while his mommy patiently answered. I just couldn’t help the small twinge of sadness that invaded my heart. It was only for a micro-second, but it stung just the same. Because I never had that when my kids were that age. The jealousy only lasted long enough for my kids to peek through the window and laugh and play with me. One autistic, and the other with deep sensory needs with possible ADHD. Both beautiful, loving, perceptive babies of mine. And the blessing outweighed the jealousy once again.
My mind then turned to pity this young mother. “Pity??” You may ask incredulously. Yes. Pity. True, She may not have had the tear jerking nights were one lies in their bed wondering if they will EVER have a conversation with their child, nor beg and plead for their sensory sensitive kid to eat just one bite of rice. Nor may she ever sit steaming in a parent- teacher conference because their teacher refuses to Just accommodate their child’s needs. She won’t have the heartache of well meaning friends telling her what she should have done her prevent her child’s disabilities, my personal “favorite”. She may even post some of those things herself. Yet, I pity her.
I pity her, because she may just take it for granted. She may have to constantly tell her child to hush, because their child is interrupting, or yelling, or trying to talk when they need to be quiet. She may have to apologize for her child talking out of turn in class. And she takes it all as normal. She doesn’t revel in the wonder of her child’s creative play, because it just isn’t supposed to happen. She will never celebrate her child sitting still in class and not having a meltdown because the room is too loud or quiet. She won’t celebrate the retention of knowledge. She won’t get giddy over her child making a lasting friendship that just takes her child at face value. She may never call her best friend in tears, because her child just read a book out loud on her own. And it is because she doesn’t have to.
I pity this Mommy of a beautiful, normally developing boy. I want to shake her and tell her to NEVER take it for granted. i want to tell her to celebrate each miracle of development. I want to tell her to celebrate life and all of its wonders and to teach her kid to do the same. I pity this stranger. As I pity all mommies who don’t have a special needs child. They won’t know the joy that comes out of the struggle for just one sentence, just one word. I wouldn’t wish the hardships my husband and I faced, nor the tears we both have shed on ANYONE. Please don’t misunderstand me. I just don’t want you to ever take it for granted. Ever, ever, ever.
I don’t go with the phrase, “God must have thought you were so special for giving you such a special child.” Sorry, I just don’t. But I am glad that it makes me totally rely on Him. It makes me stronger, because I have to be. It makes me completely fight with all I have for my kids. I have kids who have special gifts of empathy, compassion, and are filled with a rich imagination. I have been given the gift to be able to CELEBRATE remarkable things like eating rice, talking back and forth, and my kids listening and responding the FIRST time.
So, young mommy at the gas station, I am sorry that you may never know the depth of joy I do. Your joys will be different and may be just as hard won. I just am so so sorry you may take them for granted.
I am in the middle of revamping my blog. God has helped me to treatise I have a lot more to offer than just what is happening on my spiritual journey, including what has been posted here. Expect to see my struggles and joys in raising special needs children, my passion for all things baked, my fun and creative side with various crafty projects I try, guest posts from woman who have something I just think you would love to hear from, and other wonderful miscellaneous things happening that God wants shared with you. Be blessed my friends! And see you when the blog is flipped!