Perspective is a funny thing.
I always thought parenting would be about never missing a sports game, eating big family meals, time outs for sibling scuffles, and planning memorable family vacations.
And although for you it may be about those things, special needs parenting has changed what being a parent means to me.
It means teaching my “typical” child about differences, kindness, and never letting someone play by themselves or sit at lunch alone.
It means learning how to “feel”, listen, and study a train instead of simply looking at one as it passes by.
It means learning to speak out against injustices, practicing the pause at the iep table, and learning to walk away from relationships or friendships that can’t give you grace during the hard.
Special needs parenting isn’t about little league, it’s about miracle league instead. About finding the courage to try, and to try again.
It’s about learning that love needs no words, and learning to celebrate the differences.
It’s made me learn to prepare for forever instead of prom, to hope that just ONE kid comes to the birthday party, and to appreciate para-professionals every single day.
My world stopped the moment autism came into our life, I mourned Christmas mornings that he didn’t open presents, and birthdays where he had no requests for gifts or themes.
But slowly as I learned to see his joy, to celebrate his wins, and recognize that his happiness is not dependent on the material things you or I value as treasure, my perspective started to change.
I asked him today who is best friend was, I named off the children in his class and our family members, and his response was “everybody”.
That my friends is knowing what is important and what isn’t. He has no judgement, no negative opinions of others. Just a pure heart, and a beautiful perspective to lead us all to be better.