Waiting in line to pick kids up from camp yesterday, I was listening to other Moms in front of me talk about their kids, "camp has been fun" blah blah "my son is so happy here" blah blah. I disregard their comments and turn inward.
I lose myself in my own mind thinking about my own stresses. Have to be on time for football. Have to have meals/water/equip/etc. What about work? How can I better manage personal relationships? And don’t forget money. That’s always in there. OMG school starts soon. How will middle school be? What about the other boys? Will they develop friendships? Will they be happy? What can I do to ensure this will happen? How can I control the situations to get the most positive outcome? Always trying to be in control brings so much anxiety. Feeling sorry for myself. I'm SO STRESSED. I’M SO TIRED. I JUST WANT TO GO RIDE MY HORSE FOR A FEW HOURS. IS THAT SO WRONG??
The bus pulls up.
A special needs boy gets off the bus. He’s a tall, lanky teenager with shaggy dark hair that is falling in his eyes. He can’t quite hold his head upright. His hands are twisted in awkward positions. His feet cross over each other as he shuffles over to the Mom who is standing in the front of the line.
She has a huge smile on her face and an arm outstretched to grab him. She welcomes him and asks him if he had a good time?
He sings his answer – a kind of high pitched “oh” sound that lasts about four seconds. I realize that this boy has no language whatsoever.
She smiles in response telling him she can tell that he’s quite happy!
But how does she know?
He cannot give her a big hug. He cannot tell her about his wonderful day. He can only sing to her.
I am floored. I am floored at my ego-centric self.
Now here come my boys. As they get off the bus I count them. 1, 2, 3, 4 – all here. And all begin talking at the same time to explain what their days were like and sharing “yo momma” jokes they learned from the boy counselors at camp and are we eating in the car before football? Can I ride shotgun?
I marvel at their perfect heads, hands and feet. Their perfect messy hair. Their perfect wrinkled clothes.
Their perfect voices.
And I take a deep breath and make myself live in the moment with them. Not in my own busy mind. But just living right there and then, in their world.
Feeling so grateful, honored and overjoyed to be a part of it.
How did I get so lucky?
GAWD knows it hasn’t been an easy road. But who cares?
If I look at the road that some of those Moms have been on and will continue to be on – I have nothing to complain about.
Only things to celebrate.
I want to thank the parents of special needs kids. For being brave and strong. For not giving up. For loving fiercely. For understanding their children. For listening to their unique songs.
And for reminding me how good I’ve got it. I know that’s not your mission, but it’s a gift you gave to me yesterday and I want to tell you from the depths of my heart, thank you.
Thank you for reminding me to listen to my children sing.