Having a special needs child is a special experience. The polarity of the trial is something I could never prepare for. Anger, sorrow, heartache, frustration, bitterness, despondency all seem to drift through the currents of emotion damming the goodness of life and the beauty found within it. But those feelings are pacified by a brief moment of light, and expression or an unbelievably beautiful smile that reflects the angelic spirit of my beautiful daughter.
Mothers receive and deserve so much of the credit that is too seldom given to parents of special needs children. Mothers are often the silent recipients of piercing looks and slighted comments from those who do not know. It is Mom who faces the unrelenting constancy of care, and is frequently forced to face the future and embrace it in the midst of painful routine and the humdrum of what may seem as continuous tedium. Lindsey has an unsurpassed ability to “face the music” and turn it into a melody. There is no better woman and no better Mom than she is.
Father’s don’t get much credit and likely deserve little of what does come. It is sometimes easier for dad to attempt to fix the needs and forget the special in special needs. Dad’s get needs, because they are sometimes lists that need to be done. The toilet needs fixed, the fence needs painted and even if we don’t always get those needs done, they hardly seem special. With special needs comes the heightened sense of inadequacy to get everything that needs done accomplished, but also the necessity of now making the greatest of all needs to be special. Yes the needs are special but frequently they are not spectacular. The needs somehow take the special away.
Like so many other areas of life, I have learned, that Father’s especially need to see the special within and sometimes even in spite of the needs. So from a dad with a daughter with special needs, I encourage you to find what is special in your special little girl or your special family. When you really think about it . . . don’t we all have special needs? Fathers have a unique role and opportunity to find, embrace, and fulfill the needs of their children.
I wouldn't wish our struggles upon anyone, but I wouldn't trade it for anything because I am learning that the special part of life is so much more important than the needs.