A well-known illustration by special needs parent Emily Perl Kingsley describes raising a child with a disability like setting out for Italy but ending up, through flight scheduling mishaps, in Holland. Not where you intended to be, right? But while it’s not Italy, Holland has a great deal of beauty and culture that you would have missed if you’d gone to Italy.
This illustration can really apply to all parents — how many of us end up exactly where we thought we’d go when we began the journey of fatherhood and motherhood?— but there is perhaps a unique application for parents of special needs children, where so much of the parenting landscape can seem unfamiliar and unexpected.
“...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy,” Kingsley writes, “you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.”
Maybe there’s a good reminder here for those in unique and difficult situations with their children. But for all parents, loving and raising children can be fraught with worry, tension, and hardship.
And we can all be grateful for God’s many provisions for us, including the small, but powerful gifts.
Like Essential Oils.
QUESTION – WHAT IS ONE UNEXPECTED THING YOU ENJOY SINCE HAVING A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE MISSED OUT ON OTHERWISE?