As a special needs mother it can be very easy to want to turn my nose up at Thanksgiving. In a time where everyone is focused on what they have to be thankful for it can be very easy to let Satan tell you that because of your situation there is nothing to be thankful for. I have caught myself in these thoughts several times in the last few days. It’s not because I don’t love my child, and it’s not because I genuinely feel I have nothing to be thankful for. In fact there couldn’t be anything farther from the truth.
For any mother, especially a mother with a special needs child, it can sometimes be easier to throw a pity party than it is to get ourselves dressed in the morning. After day after day of putting our child’s endless needs before ours it becomes very easy to be so physically and emotionally exhausted that we actually have to make ourselves find things to be thankful for. But the truth is when we step outside of our bubbles and just open our eyes, the amount of things to be thankful for are endless. Between tube feeds, hearing aids, doctors appointments, trying every physical therapy technique I can come up with, and forcing my child to both pee and poop (yes you read that right) I couldn’t remember what I had to be thankful for. Instead I only knew what I had to be resentful for. This is not the heart you are supposed to have going into Thanksgiving. The fact of the matter is yes I have been dealt some cards that others may think are “less than ideal” and yes my day-to-day life as a mother is a lot more challenging than some other mothers. But at the end of the day I am blessed with the sweetest, happiest little boy, and no medical diagnosis will EVER change that.
Once I stopped and really thought about my life the tables turned. Instead of it being easier to be resentful, it became easier to be thankful. If you are a mother of perfectly healthy children, be thankful when they are constantly getting into everything and talk back. Some of us can’t wait to have those experiences. If you are like me and are a mother to a special needs child be thankful that you have been blessed with another day to take care of your child, no matter what that entails, because we are never guaranteed tomorrow. No matter your situation be thankful for your support system. If you have a huge support system like us be thankful that there are so many people willing to help you. If you are having to do it all on your own be thankful that God made you strong enough to handle it.
There is always something to be thankful for. This week it took these people to remind me.
This is “Carson’s Crew”. All of these people came out to represent Carson in the walk for hearing. We had the largest group out of everyone. The smaller group was led by my cousin Natalie who lives too far away to participate in the walk for hearing here in Jacksonville. She rallied a group together, and made her own walk for hearing. How can I not be thankful? How selfish is that of me to for even one second let myself believe that I have nothing to be thankful for? No, my child doesn’t hold his head up, sit up, or crawl yet and he is one year old. No, my child would not be alive right now if it wasn’t for a feeding tube. No, my child has never heard my voice. But my child has the most innocent and loving heart, and I get to feel his love every single day. And that’s more than enough to be thankful for.