This is exactly the way I imagined my life.
Have you ever said that? Not here, not me.
The plan was to be a single ski instructor/patrol/avalanche forecaster in Montana or Colorado and not even be thinking about being married let alone having a family a day before I was 30.
Let me tell you about that.
I will be 32 in February.
I will have been married for 9 years in March.
I have been dating my wife for the last 13 years.
My third child will be born in the next four weeks.
My oldest child is our special needs son who is five.
We didn’t waste anytime adjusting to the dream.
You’re now thinking one of two things. Really? Or Yep.
Those of you are asking why, either do not have a special needs child or you just haven’t given in yet.
To the latter.
Get on with it, there’s not much worth in hanging on to in your old life.
What is worth keeping will find a way to hang around.
The rest will be replaced by mountains of stress, more sleepless nights than you signed up for, don’t forget the permanent kink in your spine, and oh just the most amazing life you never dreamed of.
Yes, a little crazy too.
But mostly serious, at least for now…
I am a better man, father, husband, and human because of my son.
Parents of special needs children will tell you there is nothing special about them.
They are right.
There is absolutely nothing incredible about us.
Our children are incredible.
They make us believe that we can face the fires of life on their behalf because they cannot.
They fight to live and do what most do in their sleep.
I don’t know what greater inspiration you need in life.
Do I miss my dreams?
Do I miss my freedom to go skiing when I want, backpacking, mountain biking, traveling when we want?
Sure I do.
It is just not a thought I have to entertain for long before the joy of the life I live hits me in the face.
Simplicity is best.
You know how fancy restaurants only put a little bit of their really excellent, really expensive food on the plate so that you don’t get desensitized to the flavors?
Well, that’s how our lives are now.
I’m pretty sure we are a lot less sensitive to those than most.
When our children experience joy, we do too.
When we get a spare few hours once a year to ourselves to do just one of the things we used to do on whim, it is amazing.
This life is beyond my dreams.
This is not the way I ever thought this would look.
It is better.
Don’t forget to enjoy it instead of mourning the loss of whatever your life looked like before.
If your child has a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy what level of the GMFCS are they?