The Lucky Ones

One of the things I remember most about becoming a mother for the first time was all the ‘firsts’. The first smile – the first solid food – the first word – the first steps. It was like the first year and a half of my son’s life was a constant celebration. But when you have a child with special needs, those firsts often don’t come so quickly or come at all.

My daughter, Ashley, didn’t walk until she was 4 years old. She didn’t eat by mouth until she was 9 years old. She didn’t speak ‘MaMa’ until she was 12 years old. But even though the firsts didn’t come as quickly, they are no less special.

In fact, it’s almost like the 18 month celebration I experienced with my son turned into a 12 year party for my daughter!

I refuse to let people say, “Aww, poor thing” when referring to my daughter. I refuse to listen to them when they say they are sorry that things are not as expected for her. I refuse to let anyone crash our party with gloom and doom and glass half empty statements.

Our children with special needs are indeed ‘special’, and that has nothing to do with their abilities. They are blessings who teach us patience and joy and love beyond imagination. They turn our lives into parties and lifelong celebrations.

Now you tell me who the lucky parents are!

Deborah can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Wednesday, and can also be found at Pipecleaner Dreams.

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