Thursday, September 12, 2013

Special needs wisdom in Chinese fortune cookies

You know that old game of attaching "in bed" to the end of a fortune cookie message, and how it makes for laughably great insights? Well, it turns out you can read special needs wisdom into fortune cookies, too. 

This occurred to me as Sabrina and I cracked open a bunch the other night. All of us love going out for Chinese food, especially at this nice restaurant five minutes away from the house that's tasty and never crowded, which makes it very Max-friendly. His faves: Hot-and-sour soup, fried rice with veggies, slices of avocado.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step," said the first fortune we opened. Instantly, I thought of how much I ached for Max to walk when he was a baby. But he needed to commando crawl, pull to stand, be shown by the physical therapist how to crawl on all fours and practice moving in a walker before he took his first independent steps at age 3, right on his birthday and right into my arms. For Max, every aspect of his development has been about baby steps.

After that, I started pretending all of the fortunes related to Max (I didn't tell this to Sabrina):

"Your many talents will become obvious to those around you."

OH YES. It's one of my biggest wishes: That people will look beyond Max's disabilities and discover his many abilities.

"Do not fear what you don't know."

This one's a doozie. I try not to worry about what the future will bring for Max, because I learned long ago that the only thing this accomplishes is distracting me from his wonderful present. Here was yet another reminder to stop freaking about the unknown. And eat more egg roll.

"Many successes will accompany you this year."

Wheeeee! I have a feeling Max's reading and writing are going to take giant leaps forward.

And then, last, what I hope for Max and all our children: 

"You will find yourself in a position of dignity in the end." 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  It's what our kids need—and deserve—from the world.  

True, this does not necessarily work with every single fortune ("Smiling can often make you look and feel younger") but it did for most. 

Next time you have Chinese, try this and report back!


  1. I should go to that restaurant those fortune cookies are very wise LOL :)

  2. Somebody should put a disability awareness saying in there, like Don't shout at kids in a wheelchair, people think because i'm in a wheelchair i can't hear as well. Thats only one of the many examples that I would like to see in a fortune cookie.

    1. I got that in a fortune cookie. It confused me.

  3. I like this fortune. I once got one that said that hard work is the key to success. It is.

  4. It's so funny you would write about this. When my son was first diagnosed with autism, I was feeling so down. I remember having Chinese food one day, and talking to God (I'm a Christian) and saying, "Sorry if this is weird, but I need a sign. The next fortune cookie I open is going to be for Ethan." I opened it and it read "Your success will astonish everyone." I've kept that little paper for four years now...and you know, it's been right. For the longest time, that little slip of paper gave me a lot of hope when I felt hopeless.

  5. Love this! There is Chinese take-out place in the food court of our Children's Hospital and I always joke that they only use "your-child-is-sick" themed fortune cookies! Every cookie I've gottent there has been a winner. My favorite was "Your road to glory will be rocky but fulfilling." Perfection.


Thanks for sharing!

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