Every once in a while I'm at home while the program The Doctors is on. On this particular day a few weeks ago there was a story about a child born without hands and one of the doctors said something that was irritating to me as a parent of kids with special needs.
He said something about how having their child with those issues would make them "better" parents so I did what I do usually when something is irritating to me and I blog about it.
Oh, the platitudes. (Another trigger for me is "God wouldn't give you more than you can handle.")
My reaction was pretty strong (and I'm still thinking about it). It hit me so strong because I am certain I would have also been awesome had my kids been healthy and had they not been challenged at every turn. I didn't need my kids to suffer needlessly in order to be better.
That isn't to say parenting them hasn't made me different, because it has. Oh, if I could count the ways.
- I have a strange sense of humor I haven't always had because it can be dark sometimes.
- I ask for help easily and I appreciate friends who match socks and bring muffins, who send cards and call on big appointment days or when crisis strikes they just literally show up.
- I listen to my gut instinct and I can't say I did that before kids.
- I'm a bigger fighter than I would have been, obviously.
- I appreciate small milestones.
- I appreciate good insurance, low deductibles (never thought about what insurance covered before, really).
I'm thankful I've learned some of these things but it would have been nice to figure them on my own instead of because my kids' suffering and challenges.
Julia writes at Kidneys and Eyes, co-founded Support for Special Needs, writes at Aiming Low and survives on Diet Coke. She's been married to a guy named Julian for nearly 20 years (true story) and has two incredibly cute kids.