As the mother of a son with special needs, I have often had people tell me that they think God gives special children to special moms. While I realize that this sentiment is meant to be encouraging and kind, I also must say that I think it’s misguided. A big reason I think this is because I know me. I know me better than anyone else knows me, except God. I know that I’m no more special than any other mom out there. This isn’t fake humility, either. It’s just the truth.
All moms need God’s grace for each day. We who are His children need His grace for our own children in so many different ways. How amazing is God’s grace, too! He promises this undeserved favor to us over and over, greater grace for greater needs, along with His mercies that are new every morning. He has all that I need. He has all that any mom needs. I asked God many times to give me grace for the challenges that I faced as a mom to all three of our children.
Having said all this, let me also say that I have a great respect for the moms that I know who are walking this life alongside their child or children with special needs. My heart goes out to them, ones I know and ones I don’t know, as they face demands that they never dreamed they would encounter as a mother.
So as Mother’s Day approaches, and we see the beautiful cards…….heart tugging commercials…….perfect mother and children photos…….and all the lovely images of motherhood through the years – let me give a “special” shout-out to all the “special” moms of special children.
Those dear Moms:
- Who spend hours researching your child’s diagnosis rather than hours researching what sport for him to play.
- Who pray for your child’s teacher to be understanding of meltdowns, bluntness, and a zillion other things that have nothing to do with her grasping of educational facts, and yet have everything to do with her ability to learn.
- Who dread with a passion those IEP meetings.
- Who dread having to once again explain your child in every new setting.
- Who dread high school graduation because……then what?
- Who try to ignore the stares from others in public places instead of basking in admiring glances.
- Who are learning how to use your child’s feeding tube rather than planning his fun pizza party.
- Who are searching for the best wheelchair rather than the best bicycle.
- Who watch their child being marked for radiation rather than getting a cool tattoo.
- Who are shopping with their daughter for a wig to cover her bald head due to chemo instead of shopping for the perfect new hair products.
- Who are driving their older child everywhere because he can’t have a driver’s license due to seizures or other medical issues.
- Who hurt because their child doesn’t have many, or any, friends.
- Who are signing guardianship papers instead of college admittance papers.
- Who are scouring the internet for the latest medical treatments instead of scouring for the best college scholarships.
- Who know more drug names and side effects than they ever wanted to know.
- Who spend far more time finding caregivers than finding cool vacation spots.
- Who are adept at rearranging schedules due to unexpected medical issues.
- Who lay in bed at night with the sound of your husband sleeping on one side, and your adult child breathing heavily in the baby monitor on the other side as you listen for seizures.
- Who read your adult child the same book every single night of his life.
- Who keep waterproof mattress pads on your child’s bed – your adult child.
- Who have a hard time finishing a conversation with your husband without being interrupted over and over.
- And who, for some, will find themselves looking at a gravestone on Mother’s Day instead of looking into the eyes of their child.
So to all of you amazing mothers of special needs children, I give you a huge high five!! I hope you know that you are loved and that God does have special grace for you every day.
And may you, as my friend Atha would say, be established in your purpose……this God-given purpose……of raising one of His very special children.