Is IT WORTH IT?

When our son was younger my husband came home one day and said a friend asked him this question:

“IS IT WORTH IT?”

I could say all sorts of mean things about this person and his question, in fact, at the time, I am sure I did.  It really just showed me his lack of understanding about what life is really about and that made me sad for him.

You begin to realize, when you travel such a road as this, that sometimes those who are really “disabled” are those who choose to live without understanding what is truly important.

tucker chilling

IS IT WORTH IT? 

What kind of question is that?

At first the question angers me, 

But after a moment~ it just saddens me;

It is question of ignorance.

Some may question whether having 

any child is “worth it”.

It costs so much!

Time, energy, and money.

You life becomes caring for them,

Worrying about them.

Training and teaching them,

so that they may someday be able to care for themselves.

It’s all about giving~

Giving a part of yourself and

Sacrificing part of yourself to help another.

To help someone grow in love, 

so that their lives may be blessed 

with people who will love them and care for them.

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photo by Erin Carlson

Having a child with mental and physical challenges

is not so different.

Yes, there are a lot more “things” to deal with~such as 

developmental,  and health issues and 

if your goal in life is to see your child

become a rocket scientist~

you will probably be disappointed.

But if your goal is to help build a person

to be the best that he can be.

To help this person overcome the many

obstacles that are in his way~

to help him learn, love and laugh~

You someday realize you are raising nothing short

of a little hero!

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photo by Kelli Schmieder

and in the process you 

learn and grow so much

you begin to wonder……

Who

has  actually been

teaching

who???

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The Special Gift

 

gift

I recently had a birthday and a memory from the past flooded into my mind. Not of balloons, gifts and  celebration, but of a quiet moment on my birthday years ago.  Birthdays come and birthdays go, but special memories remain as precious treasures in one’s heart. This one memory is from 12 years ago.  My son Tucker was just starting to walk and his words were few and his challenges in life were many. He was my teacher that day and the giver of joy.

 

THE SPECIAL GIFT

This year for my birthday

I received one of the most precious gifts

I have ever received in my life.

My six year old son came into my room with a big grin on his face,

gave me a hug and said excitedly: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

Now I know that may not seem too impressive to most,

but this was the first time he had ever said those words to me.

And not only did he say them together clearly,

but he really understood that it was Mommy’s birthday;

He had categorized my birthday into his little brain,

along with all the other birthdays he had experienced~

THAT, in itself deserved a party!

It brought tears to my eyes and is one of those moments

that are written on a Mother’s heart and never forgotten.

Some of life’s most precious gifts come in the smallest packages.

They aren’t’ the things we put on the mantle, or wear on our fingers.

They are the little things that are said, moments that are shared,

time spent just caring for one another.

Sometimes we forget the simplicity of that among-st all of the glitz of the world~

Some have just never figured it out; they are just too blind to see.

But I am thankful for my little “blessing in disguise”,

who not only blesses me daily with a very special love,

but also teaches me to keep my heart and my eyes wide open,

because blessings of love may happen at any moment!

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Our Silent Victory At Special Olympics

When I thought about doing special Olympics swimming with my son, I really wasn’t sure if it work for him.  I had no idea  how he would react in such a loud, stressful situation.  I’ve seen him fly over nursing desks at doctors offices, dart out of medical buildings into parking lots, wrestle the dentist on the office floor.  I’ve  seen him glue himself into his wheelchair, becoming more and more obstinate until there is a glaze over his eyes and words of reason are interpreted  as  a “blah, blah blah” that makes no sense to his closed ears.   There have been times when he has gone into shut down inside a public restroom unmovable for an hour or sometimes two until he could collect himself and get the nerve to leave the “safety” of quiet. 
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                                                                                                                             photo by Kellie Schmieder
  I confess, I was apprehensive at what he would do at each practice — could I even get him up and out the door that early on a Saturday morning? Could I get him to leave the pool when  class was over? Would he try to touch people? Would he do what was expected of him, or insist on turning somersaults underwater?   But how he surprised me!  Armed with my young living vetiver oil, he took to the class each week like he was the easiest kid in the world!  I was unsure how long it would last; it was loud, full of swimmers and he had to swim laps-many laps!  But it was a safe, friendly, inviting fun environment with wonderful coaches and volunteers.  He now counts down to his favorite day of the week: SWIMMING DAY! 
But when it came time for the special Olympics  competition, I was faced with new ” what ifs”. I just wasn’t sure how he would do; a new place, new pool– lots of waiting….where would I dress him?, where would I take him to pee? Would he understand what was going on? Would he decide not to get into the pool, would he decide not to get out? What if he decided he had to pee while he was in the pool, or worse….poop?  But once again, armed with vetiver oil and cederwood, his favorite toy: Fozzie Bear, and  an iPod-we ventured to our first ever Special Olympics competition.
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He stayed there half the day; he competed in three events, two in the small pool and one in the big pool.  He didn’t cover his ears, he didn’t panic, he didn’t get obstinate and  he didn’t go into shut down in the bathroom.  He made it to the toilet on time, he seemed engaged, he was so happy, excited to be a part of something that made him feel special and he was surrounded with friendly volunteers and his coaches gave him amazing support. 
The whole experience was truly amazing!                                                                                                                          
And although he did finally meet his limit and went into shutdown before we left, he  made it through what he had gone there to do. What he DID  was an amazing feat and I know and understand better than ever, just what an invaluable opportunity Special Olympics really is.  I am forever grateful for the experience for him and for the wonderful volunteers that make it happen.
 
And yes, he did win some medals,but I think the biggest win was that he mastered his environment instead of it mastering him–
He conquered something bigger than any event that day and well,
I guess his momma did too!  

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt -Motto Of The Special Olympics

photos by Kellie Schmieder

A Smile is Worth a Thousand Words!

A Smile is Worth a Thousand Words!

WELCOME~

This is a blog where I share my thoughts and my memories with anyone who would like to read them. Sometimes I may share frustrations, fears and challenges and others might be the simple joys of my day homeschooling my children. It is a place to record a few of our life’s moments and share things that have worked for us in dealing with the challenges of having a son with down syndrome and autism and  the wisdom I have gained by my own mistakes as a veteran homeschooling mom.