Special Needs Can be Super Special

badgesJust when I had been planning to write about handling the disappointment that is sometimes attendant with special needs kids, my daughter surprised the heck out of  me. More on that in an minute.

About a month ago, I went to a Boy Scouts meeting with my 16-year-old son and watched another scout get his umpteenth merit badge. He had so many already that they flowed up one side of his sash and almost all the way down the back side of the sash. My son, on the other hand, didn’t even tell me about the meeting until 10 minutes before he had to be there. Not only did he fail to tell me he had to be there, he especially failed to tell me that it was the night for parents to come. I had, of course, planned my whole day around my kids’ needs and activities, and had saved “my” work until the evening. My son’s last-minute announcement meant that I would not be able to start my work until after 9pm, necessitating a very late night for me.

So I sat there at the scout meeting silently grumbling about not being able to have any “super-star” moments with my kids. Horrible of me, I know. Not being satisfied with what their best can produce, and still wanting moments of them being publicly acclaimed for their achievements. I wasn’t very proud of myself that night, but I confess that I still felt sad to think those moments were just not possible for our family.

Then tonight at church, at the young women’s meeting, my daughter blew me away. A number of young women earned ribbons for certain achievements, and my daughter earned so many that people applauded. She actually earned more than any of the other young women there. Here I was feeling sorry for myself and my daughter was “super-starring” right under my nose and I didn’t even know it.

Even more humble now (and a little shame-faced), I no longer think I can predict what any of my children are capable of. My son may surprise me yet.

Photo credit: Donna V.