I wonder if you ever get in the same rut with your special needs child as I do. I keep my nose to the grindstone, concentrating so hard on all of the medical information and decisions that have to be made, that I sometimes forget to look up and enjoy the moment. After all, I'm in the place that every parent dreads, the doctor's office. Filled with concerns about my child's health, I realize I am not the only parent of a kid with chronic illness or unique abilities who spends a disproportionate amount of time in these stressful places. Yet, I am curious, questioning if I am odd in missing the precious moments because I am so stuck in thoughts of, "Will my child be okay?", "How are we going to pay for this surgery?", "How am I going to juggle everyone's schedules around this procedure?", "Gosh, I can't wait to get home!".
It may sound ridiculous, but I know we parents of these remarkable kids are actually given a tremendous gift. We get more time alone with our offspring than the average parent might. While that may feel like a burden rather than a gift when we have prolonged periods without a break, we need to remember that these are the same precious people that we lament are growing up too fast. These are the same babies we prayed would be part of our lives one day. These are the same ones we would run in front of a train to rescue. These are the same children who make us laugh, shake our heads and relish the amusement, when we take the time.
Yesterday, I was captive at our local Children's Hospital with the youngest of our "specials" for 2 hours. Rather than let my angst take me hostage, I relished the time getting to know her and all her quirks even better. I smiled looking at the mismatched clothes she endlessly insists on wearing. I listened to her nervous chatter as we waited for the doctor. I entered into the things that were important to her as we traipsed around the medical complex, getting prepared for her upcoming procedure. We slowed down enough to notice cool things meant to soothe kids just like her.
I thanked God for every blessing along the way. I praised Him for the personality He formed in her, which is like no other. I relished her fawn eyes perfectly arranged on that sprite-like face. I shared her awe of how a human could create a board that changes color merely because we press our hand on it. I educated her on how an artist took time with their incredible, God-given talent to paint the amazing plaster horse that captivated her attention. I was grateful to hold her hand and have competent medical care to help preserve the life of my precious treasure.
Oh, how I need to do this more... Tell me I'm not the only one.
PRAY: Lord, may a day never pass by where I don't thank You for the special reward You have blessed me with!