Raising a child with special needs isn't all bad; it's just that the day-to-day challenges can be so overwhelming I sometimes miss the blessings. One of the most profound "Aha!" moments occurred on the day we took our son to the neurologist (yes, that day... my "eat ice cream and have a pity party" day).
I was sitting in the waiting room, thinking pathetic thoughts about how no parent wants to be sitting where I am sitting right now. Our son was playing with legos in the "kids corner" of the waiting room. Another couple walked in with their young daughter, who was perhaps three years old. She took interest in the legos and began to talk to her parents - in Afrikaans. My son, without missing a beat, introduced himself to her - in Afrikaans - and invited her to play with him. After about ten minutes of play, my son addressed the girl's parents - again in Afrikaans - and told them they have a "very clever daughter".
I sat, observing this scene from the other side of the waiting room. I didn't know why the other family was there or what challenges the little girl faced. I wondered if anyone had ever told those parents how clever their daughter was. And I very nearly cried, because that's when it hit me: my son may be falling apart physically, but when it comes to connecting with people, he's got it down. He can even do it in two languages! At the end of the day, isn't that what life is all about – meeting people where they are, as they are, how they are, and engaging and loving them there?
Sometimes I have to remind myself of what's truly important in life. I also have to admit that sitting in a neurologist's office is a pretty good place to gain some perspective.