The Gift of Being a Special Needs Mama

Today I had a conversation with our church Pastor. If you know him, you know he is truly special. He is willing to listen, wants to love and is working on sharing Jesus with others. Today, after our "business" discussion he asked abut Seraphina. It wasn't because he "had" to or because he "needed" to but because I believe he truly wondered..."how is Seraphina doing?".

To be honest, its hard to gauge how Seraphina is doing but I know I am better and often when Mom is better, the kids follow. I am no longer stunned and shocked (even though I had a hunch for a year), I am working on living the new normal. This life that we have been pushed into and this opportunity I have.

I said opportunity. Perhaps other moms of special needs kids would beg to differ. Perhaps I would feel different if there were greater issues with Seraphina but for right now, I feel this child is an opportunity.

First, she's an opportunity to grow. I am learning that I have been a judgmental mother. Even when I thought that I was open and understanding, I have found fault in other children, in other parents, in others when they have not met my own standards. My standards are now truly open.

Second, she's an opportunity because I like to talk,I like to speak up, I like to be passionate about things that are important to me, and honestly, she is so I will talk, I will write and I will speak up. I will speak up about her, about her differences and about how she makes our world better. She does make our world better differences and all.

Third, well, honestly, its a gift being a special needs mama because you have the opportunity to take it all in. In the last few months I have felt more love and support from family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers than I have in almost 37 years of life. In the last few months, I have been more open, understanding and aware because I realize how much I need the love and support and I also understand other parents need the love and support just as much as I do and finally, this opportunity is smacking me in the face over and over again as I learn, I listen and I watch.

When I had my four other kids, they progressed. Typically. I never thought twice about what they were learning, their milestones, what they were doing to grow. They just were. They were what I had always anticipated. Seraphina is not. She is progressing on her path, at her speed and in her time and as she does, I am watching, I am listening and I am learning. I am LUCKY.

What I realize is in having a special needs child, I realize how blessed I am to have 4 typically abled children. I am also blessed to have Seraphina who shows me how lucky I am to have those kids AND how lucky I am as she takes small steps.

Yesterday, she told me she was all done instead of throwing a bowl on the floor to signify she was done. I am learning that her little steps are an opportunity to learn how blessed I am to have those "normal" milestones AND how blessed I am to have her milestones.

Tonight as I sit and reflect, I feel blessed. I am blessed to have children. I am blessed to have my five children. I am blessed to learn through all the experiences I have in this journey of parenting and life and I am especially blessed to have a Special Needs Child.


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