Wednesday, August 3, 2011

If my child didn't have special needs

If my child didn't have special needs, I wouldn't have the extreme appreciation I do for his accomplishments. I relish each and every mini milestone, right along with the mega ones.

If my child didn't have special needs, I wouldn't be an expert in occupational, physical and speech therapy. Anyone care to open a practice with me?

If my child didn't have special needs, he might not have the fixations I adore. Purple! Spaghetti! Car washes!

If my child didn't have special needs, a lot more stuff in life would probably faze me. Basement flooding, post-baby belly flab, credit card theft, fender benders—come what may, I can deal. Um, OK, except for the post-baby belly flab. That's just plain tragic.

If my child didn't have special needs, I would have never understood just how non-different kids with special needs can be.

If my child didn't have special needs, we'd have to wait on the lines at Disney. Membership has its privileges!

If my child didn't have special needs, I'd have never known just how much of a devoted dad my husband could be. I might not have seen the extent of his patience or the depths of his love and nurturing.

If my child didn't have special needs, I would be six feet tall, slim and blond.

If my child didn't have special needs, I wouldn't have a bazillion medical appointments to juggle and perhaps, with all that extra time on my hands, I could have found a resolution for world peace. As it turns out, though, I am really good at juggling bazillions of medical appointments. Phenomenal, actually. Like, I am a human app.

If my child didn't have special needs, I probably wouldn't get why a parent of a child with special needs wouldn't want to trade their child for another. But I have a child with special needs. And I can't imagine any other child except him.

Your turn: What if your child didn't have special needs?

30 comments:

  1. Max looks awesome in that top picture. I coach special needs kids sometimes, they ALWAYS bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart.

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  2. Funny, the last paragraph hits front & center this week following the NY Times article about a drug for Down syndrome. Such a maelstorm!

    And I'm also still greiving over that tragedy of that post-baby belly. Instead of an OT practice, we should start a support group.
    [this is where someone points out we could start (going to) a gym instead but that would just be MEAN].

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  3. If I didn't have a child with special needs I would never haave learned the core of inner strength I have. The core which allows me to push aside the unimportant, my whims or wants, to do the difficult things which must be done when I dont' want to have to.

    I wouldn't have half the compassion for others that I do now. I have learned that I don't HAVE to walk a mile in another's shoes to give them respect, sympathy, or empathy.

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  4. Also, I wouldn't know nearly as many amazing, strong, determined, loving people as I have met through my son and our journey.

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  5. Absolutely love this post. Was that last sentence a challenge to write a similar post?

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  6. ...I'd miss the awesome parking.

    The no-lines-at-amusement parks is fab, too. I almost hope for the occasional smart-ass comment from an onlooker in line so that I can use my deliciously satisfying comeback, delivered with a sincere smile: "Yes, not having to wait in line is a silver lining of cerebral palsy."

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  7. If I didn't have a child with special needs, I wouldn't totally rock.

    If I didn't have a child with special needs, I wouldn't have a heart filled with compassion and understanding for others.

    If I didn't have a child with special needs, there are amazing people who wouldn't be a part of my life.

    If I didn't have a child with special needs, I wouldn't be a walking medical dictionary able to hold my own in a convo with a leading plastic surgeon and therapy team.

    If I didn't have a child with special needs, I wouldn't be able to write a 4 page how to guide on how to operate a kangaroo pump.

    If i didn't have a child with special needs, I wouldn't be able to tell a mom with PPD & a kid with special needs "Yes, I've been there too. It's HARD. But it gets better."

    If I didn't have a child with special needs, I would never have known just how DEEP my strength runs and baby, it runs DEEP.

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  8. " As it turns out, though, I am really good at juggling bazillions of medical appointments. Phenomenal, actually. Like, I am a human app." Yes, this!

    If I didn't have a child with special needs, I wouldn't have the clarity I do on what my job as a parent really is.

    If I didn't have a child with special needs I never would have had the courage to make writing my career.

    If I didn't have a child with special needs, I would never have realized that doctors aren't as smart as you'd like them to be. And that I'm a lot smarter than I thought I was.

    If I didn't have a child with special needs, I wouldn't have learned to trust my instincts implicitly.

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  9. If my child didn't have special needs wouldn't appreciate the simple things in life as much as I do.

    If my child didn't have special needs I would probably complain more about silly things that really don't matter.

    If my child didn't have special needs I wouldn't know who my REAL friends are. The ones who couldn't handle it walked away from us early on. But the ones who stayed, and the ones who support us every single day have become family to us.

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  10. My children are typical, but I consider it a blessing to have friends whose children have special needs, because I have learned so much from them and my children have learned from their children.

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  11. ...I wouldn't be a writer today.
    ...I wouldn't be about to meet so many inspirational women at BlogHer.
    ...my life might be easier, but it wouldn't necessarily be better.

    Love this and all the comments ate great!

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  12. I love this post.

    If my child didn't have special needs I would have never "met" you and other wonderful moms out there.

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  13. I love this! My kids don't have special needs (although I think every kid has some quirks that have to be adapted to), but I can definitely "get why a parent of a child with special needs wouldn't want to trade their child for another." That's unconditional love, Mama, and non-special needs kids inspire that, too!

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  14. If Zoe weren't Zoe.. I wouldn't have seen the rainbow in the sky, noticed the colors of the flowers on the street- the day her doc told me she would lose her vision.

    If Zoe weren't Zoe, I would not be lucky enough to get a daily body crushing hug, an amazing feat from a kid whose muscles don't quite work right.

    If Zoe weren't Zoe, I wouldn't appreciate the simple words I-LOVE-YOU the way I do, and know why it was worth waiting 5 years to hear them.

    If Zoe weren't Zoe, the world around me would be very different, she touches so many.

    and if Zoe weren't Zoe, I wouldn't live my life as purposefully as I do today.

    Thanks Ellen for helping me remember all of this!

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  15. Thank you for the inspiration...

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  16. I wouldn't be reading this! Plus I would probably be focused on a whole lot of unimportant things. Honestly, it's stuff like this that keeps me going... thank you for a wonderful post!

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  17. I wouldn't have found such a wonderful on-line family of fellow moms and dads that know all about having a child with Spina Bifida.

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  18. If I didn't have special needs I wouldn't understand people as well as I do. If I didn't have special needs, I wouldn't care for people as much as I do. If I didn't have special needs I wouldn't understand how annoying it is to be talked to in the third person. If I didn't have special needs I would not be the person I am today. Although I wish I didn't have them sometimes, I wouldn't know what to do without it.

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  19. If my child didn't have special needs, she wouldn't be HER, and never want to live without her.

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  20. If my daughter didn't have special needs, she wouldn't be HER. She wouldn't be who she is. And in my eyes she's perfect.

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  21. As a nurse, if my son didn't have special needs, I wouldn't be able to empathize with patients & their family members the way that I do now. I like to think that I was always sympathetic, but after spending several nights by my son's side in the PICU, & countless hours in doctors offices, I have a new appreciation for what people are going through. If my son didn't have special needs, I wouldn't know just how supportive my friends, family, & an online community could be. If my son didn't have special needs, I wouldn't appreciate every word, every step, every milestone, every good health day, the way that I do now. If my son didn't have special needs, he wouldn't be the boy whom I love more than anyone or anything in this world.

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  22. These comments are amazing. Thank you. As Niksmom said, if we didn't have kids with special needs, we probably wouldn't know each other—and I'm very, very glad to have you in my life.

    Sharon J, by all means, write that post!

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  23. Beautiful!!! Thank you!! Now, how can we get that Disney membership? :)

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  24. This was so awesome and I could not agree more! I love the Disneyland one. I agree, it is a very nice perk.
    Thanks for making me smile!

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  25. If I didn't have special needs I wouldn't be able to inspire people just by being myself. When people here that I'm building wells and making sandwiches for our housekeeper's neighbourhood their eyes widen it's SO MUCH fun to watch :)

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  26. ...I would not have discovered who I really am and where my passions lie. I would not have created a life for myself (and him) that involves laughter over all the silly and wonderful childish things that are truly important to recognize. I would not have appreciated myself or life as much. I would not have known unconditional love.

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  27. I had so much to say, I posted it on my blog http://autism.devinadivecha.com/if-my-brother-didnt-have-autism

    Thanks for inspiring me to write this!!!

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  28. Without my autism, I would not have laughed with you. I would not have my praying mantis. I would not be typing this comment. I would not believe in God as much as I do now. I would not want to write my memoir, "Pros, Cons, and Exotic Pets."

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Thanks for sharing!