I am particularly struck this morning with feelings about my life. Whether it is the cold/flu drugs I'm on or whether God is speaking to me loudly this morning doesn't so much matter. The message is the same.
I am unbelievably aware of how good I have it. This is not an easy sentiment to have at times when raising kids with issues like mine have. Autism, a mood disorder and years upon years of severe ADD can really wear a family down. Especially if you let them. And trust me - it's a daily, uphill battle not to crumble in defeat most days.
There isn't a single day that we aren't the parents of special needs kids; and likewise, there isn't a single day that my kids aren't the brothers of other special needs kids, or a day where either of them gets to take a day off from being a child that must deal with more than their neurotypical peers. You see, it's a vicious cycle that our entire family can very easily get caught up in if we aren't careful.
Yet, I am so very blessed. We are so incredibly blessed to have one another.
I am married to my very best friend who is a wonderful, faithful man of God and sweet, awesome father. We have a rich history of nearly 22 years of being together - 18 of those being parents.
My boys each have such great, very different personalities that each add such richness to our lives that I can't imagine who we would be, as a family, if God had made them any different. Yes, they can be difficult. But easier, I am finally coming to realize (and appreciate!), does not necessarily mean better.
We have a super support-filled extended family who make it possible for us to function sometimes. Without them, we would have fallen through the cracks and become a statistic long ago. And if you don't have brothers and sisters, I suggest you go and adopt some a.s.a.p.; because there really is no life without them. When all else and everyone else walks away from you, they are left standing beside you.
We have friends whom Sean and I call family because we would do anything for them, and know that they would for us, as well. They see our darkest sides and still love us. They step in where we are stumbling to fill in the gap. They love our kids as their own. They make us guacamole and french toast and hug us even when we haven't showered.
Yep. The special needs are so incredibly, unbelievably, undeniably hard to deal with on an hourly basis. It's exhausting, heartbreaking, frightening, and down-right crappy a lot of the time. But God has blessed me beyond measure, and I know he's given me the heart to embrace it.
We often work against what we know God has put before us. It's easy to fall down, fall prey to self-pity, and let the forces of this world get the best of us. But He's still there, every step of the way - working on us, molding us, preparing us for what's next - whether we feel it or not.
Today I am feeling it. Tomorrow may be a different story - send me back here then, would ya?