One of the most common questions any parent of a child with additional needs is asked is ‘How Do You Do It?’ Or probably even more common, is the slight shake of the head and look of awe that comes with the statement ‘I don’t know how you do it.’
It’s a question or statement that comes with no malice attached.
Quite the opposite, it’s often said with pride. The friends in question, look at our life and wonder what they would do if they were to walk a mile in our shoes.
They wonder how they would manage the sleepless nights, the hospital visits, the worry and uncertainty. They wonder how they would navigate the school system, and fight for their child’s needs. But most of all they wonder how we do that with smiles on our faces.
So here, is the answer to that question.
We are not superhumans. We have no special powers. Though sometimes I wish we did have.
We are simply parents, doing what any parent in our position would do. We are fighting for our children, every minute of the day. And we are surviving.
And do you know something, if this happened to your family – that’s exactly what you would do too. You would like us, make mistakes. But then the day after would dawn, and you would get up and begin the fight again.
‘But what about the smile?’ I hear you ask.
And the truth is simple. Each day we have two choices, the choice to laugh or the choice to cry. Some days the latter wins, especially on the days when we have gone one step forward only to plummet to earth by going two steps back. But most days the former wins.
After all. We are lucky. We have two incredible children, we love each other, we are a family.
Our days (and nights) may not always be easy. But they are our days.
Yes, there are days we hurt. But love wins out.
Our children are wonderful.
Life is often challenging. But they are worth every second.