My List — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

My List

by Tammy and Parker


I make lists. Lots of them. Especially for Parker. These lists include:

  • A list of medications.
  • A list of when to give said medications.
  • A list of previous surgeries.
  • A list of doctors and their info.
  • A list of therapies to work on.
  • A list of pre-school units to complete.
  • A list of up and coming doctor appointments.
  • A list of medical bills yet to be paid.

You get the idea.

But today I was listening to a Toby Keith song. (Yeah. I listen to country. Get over it.) In this song he lists all of the things he needs to get done that day. And then he realizes that on this list are none of the really, really important things.

You know, like telling your spouse how much you love them. Spending quality time with your kids. Taking the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of what is around you. Using a moment to be thankful for your blessings.

Parents of kids with medical issues or other types of special needs are pretty much the last people to put themselves first.

I know I’ve allowed myself to fall apart while trying to hold it all together for the greater cause.

And it ain’t been pretty.

Oh, I’ve lost some weight. And regained (kinda) my natural hair color.

But I still find myself shying away from mirrors in the attempt to avoid my reflection. And it is not just about looks. It is also about my countenance. I’m waiting and working towards the day when I can again catch a glimpse of myself and feel good about what I see.

I want what is in the mirror to reflect confidence, earned from experience and the sheer determination to get up again no matter how many times I’ve been knocked down.

I want what is in the mirror to reflect the wisdom of the woman I have become and the faith that I have clung to these last few years. A woman who radiates a happy heart.

I want what I see in the mirror to be the reflection of what still curls my husbands toes even after 22 years of marriage.

I want to be someone my daughters will grow into with pride, cause they are a lot like me.

I’ll get there. Each day I put in a little more work and effort towards these goals. There are a few wrinkles here and there and places where the shine has worn off a bit that I’ can’t do much about. And I’m not sure I would if I could. They speak of character and of a life well lived.

But the things I can change, I want to.

Looks like I’m gonna need a new list.

You can also find Parker and Tammy hanging out at their other blog: Praying For Parker

Email Author    |    Website About Tammy and Parker

I am the mother of 5 wonderful kids. My youngest, Parker, is a medically fragile blessing with Down's Syndrome. I am @ParkerMama on Twitter.

View all articles by


This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them, you support this site. Thank you!
See our Disclosure Policy for details.
1 Jennifer July 16, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Oh, my. I say forget the mirrors. Look at the reflection of yourself in your children’s eyes…and then you’ll see how beautiful you really are.


2 Melody July 16, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Beauty is reflected best everywhere but in a mirror.

Yet, I think you said what many of us may feel.


3 gail July 16, 2008 at 1:56 pm

i was just thinking yesterday that i’ve lost that bounce in my step and that happy-go-lucky carefree attitude. with what i have going on in my life i don’t know if it’ll ever come back. like you i look in the mirror and i don’t always like what i see, and its not the gray hairs or wrinkles that get me down. its the weariness in my eyes …

thanks for being real and sharing. its an encouragement to me to make a new list too.

gail in idaho

4 Melissa July 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm

About 7 months ago, out of the blue I became a single mom of Dillon. It’s taken me MONTHS to be able to look at myself in the mirror and to be able to to see any beauty. What I have learned is that every morning when he awakes and he’s laughing…YES, it’s the reflection in his eyes that makes me feel the outmost beautiful! Great Read & Country Rocks…LOL!

5 Tamie July 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

I shudder when I look in the mirror these days! I am trying to do a little more to take care of myself…it makes me feel better! And my husband deserves it, too, he has to look at me every day!

6 Trish July 16, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Thanks for reminding us all to take the time for ourselves and refocus on what “to do” list items should really be higher priority. I can definitely get bogged down in lists and more lists when I need to just let things flow and enjoy the moment sometimes.

7 Christine July 17, 2008 at 10:02 am

I was thinking the same thing as Jennifer–forget the mirrors. Your beauty, wisdom, compassion, confidence shines for all the world to see in your children’s faces.

That said, make a new list, a list for you. It is good to want to keep growing, evolving, changing–keeps life interesting.

8 Jan July 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm

I say if you start a new list, you need to list those of us that love you and that Parky, and you better have a LOT of paper!

9 Michelle & Kayla July 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Oh Tammy, I think you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of the reflection you see – the wife, mother, friend that you are to all.

10 Terry & Noah July 18, 2008 at 7:22 am

Hi Tammy, I love the new blog and your entry. I think mirrors are very decieving. As I too find myself shying away from them. I have never met you in person but can honestly say you are beautiful, sincere, caring & loving both on the inside and out!

11 Tiffanie July 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm

I have recently begun a start-up home based business and stumbled upon 5 Minutes from Mom. I landed here at 5 Minutes for Special Needs because one of my best gals recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl with Downs. I just wanted to say first, thanks for your beautifully honesty and second, special needs or not, we all have lists that need revamping. Also, this is such a great site and I will surly pass it on to my friend!

12 Tiffanie July 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm

P.S. Hope you don’t mind my linking back to this post. 🙂

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: