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We just happened to be at church summer camp this past weekend, from Thursday through Sunday.
To make a long story short, our beautiful camp, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, left a lot to be desired from a mobility standpoint. We were in the mountains, by a lake, and that meant there were some unavoidably steep inclines and treacherous rocks around which to navigate. While my daughter walks with a white cane, and has great skills on stairs and flat surfaces; the rocky, rooted, dusty pathways around camp were incredibly challenging. Unfortunately, the route down to the lake was one of the worst, so, after one trip down and back to attend chapel with her camp-mates, she wasn't up for another journey to play at the waterfront during free-time.
Apparently my daughter had a blast because she's already telling people it was her favorite part of the summer and that she's ready to go back next year.
I started to think about the physical tolls of special needs parenting. It seems that the majority of parents of children with special needs is exhausted. Many of us can't sleep at night, and many of us even suffer from the PHYSICAL pain which follows the EMOTIONAL pain; like migraines, for example. And I think we often feel that we suffer without the understanding or empathy of others.
Most parents grow out of feeding their children.
Most parents grow out of picking up their children.
Most parents grow out of worrying about their children being taken advantage of in one way or another because of their naivety and innocence.
But that's not the case for many parents of children with special needs. And I just wanted to bring that to light today and honor our parents by saying, "I get it. I understand. Your pain is real. God has not forgotten about you."