Special Needs Parenting

Insights into Special Needs Parenting: Beautiful Rose Colored Glasses

You often hear people say that seeing the world through a child’s eyes makes the world a more beautiful place and it couldn’t be more true. There is something about their exclamations of wonder and excitement that immediately make you realize just how amazing this world can be. There are no expectations of what the world should be or could be, only the sheer excitement of what the world is and that it exists simply for their pleasure. The shock they feel that something they have only seen in children’s books is actually a real thing. The screams of excitement as the elephant walks across their enclosure to come and specifically tell them hello. The joy rain brings because it means there are puddles to splash in. The wonder they feel when seeing pink in a sunset, because it is their favorite color and that must mean it is just for them. They don’t see the inconvenience of getting wet, the sadness of enclosures, or the expectation that the entire sky could be filled with color instead of one streak. They only see the beauty of that singular moment or just how remarkable that moment is. It is like they have a special pair of rose colored glasses that we as adults broke long ago with the knowledge we have gained and life experiences we have endured. 

Being a special needs parent can be a rollercoaster, but we are lucky. While our days can be difficult, as special needs parents we get to see our child’s world through those special pair of rose colored glasses everyday. The glasses that allow you to see the world without expectations, comparisons, or preconceived notions. And while we hope our children’s futures are bright, as all parents do, our definition of bright means something completely different. Each tiny milestone brings so much joy and amazement that you can’t hide your excitement. The feeling of wonder and pride burst out of you. It allows you to see just how beautiful those little milestones are instead of already expecting them to happen. Seeing your child take their first independent step at 4 yrs old is like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. The first time they really make eye contact with you and purposefully interact with you is like seeing the northern lights surrounded by trillions of stars. The moment they begin to make purposeful sounds at 7 years old is like seeing Mount Everest for the first time and standing on top of the peak taking in the endless world below you.

The beauty in those moments is breathtaking and lasting. It makes the hard times easier. It strips the need for comparisons and disappointments in differences away and makes the impossible possible. It allows you to see that differences, the simple things, and the little things are what is important. It shows you that taking a step backward isn’t a failure, it is just giving them more space to spring forward one day. It breaks you from being disappointed if the world isn’t perfect or if it doesn’t meet the expectations we set for it. That seeing it for what it is rather than what I hoped it would be, is what is important. It allows us to live in and savor every moment. And while I may not always remember to put them on when he is not in the room, which is something I am working on, my remarkable amazing child has given me the gift of those special glasses. My child has made the world a more beautiful place by being exactly who he is rather than what the world expects him to be. For that, I feel like I am the luckiest person in this entire big beautiful world to have been chosen to be his mom.

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