I should have thought of all this before I had a special-needs son born in July. I should have done the math; run the numbers. "Let's see, if he has special-needs, is born in July, and turns 18 before starting his senior year of high school, that will be perfectly timed with all his typical peers applying for college. I will be able to apply for guardianship, SSI and Medicaid AT THE EXACT SAME TIME as my friends' kids are applying for college. While they fill out FAFSA forms, rob Peter to pay Paul and have their kids applying for every imaginable scholarship, I will be using our life savings to pay an attorney to strip him of his civil liberties."
But of course, one does not plan for these things. These things "happen." And when they first "happen," you grieve, kick and scream, shout at an unjust God and eventually, move on. But it's the unrelenting need to keep moving on, over and over and over again as the parallel lives of those around you never intersect with what's going on in your own, that's the part that will bite you in the ass. No one tells you will heal, only to be re-injured. Only to heal again. Only to be re-injured.
My son and I were recently in our old neighborhood. I took him by the house where a friend used to live, and where we visited when he was a newborn. "That's the house where I got into the car with your sister, and my friend followed me out to the car with you in your car seat and she said, 'Did you want to take your son, too?' That was the last time I forgot, for even a second, about you."
And that is the gods' honest truth.
Carrie is a parent and advocate of a child with special needs and even more special gifts. She blogs at http://carrielink.blogspot.com/ where this is pretty much her favorite topic. Carrie’s book, WIL OF GOD: Embracing the Relentless Love of a Special Child, is available in print on Amazon and all e-readers.