Friday, June 3, 2011

Don't Worry... Be Happy

I've been doing some thinking.

Thinking about Lily's future.

Most parents of special needs children don't like to think about the future.  We don't want to go there in our minds because we're doing our best just to get through today, let alone worry about years from now.

We spend lots of time hoping and praying that our children will lose their diagnosis or be cured of their syndrome or become "normal".

And for many of our kiddos, it's just not going to happen.

The day will come when we realize that.

And that's the day that we adjust our dreams.

And we discover a "new normal".  And I dare say - a "better normal than normal".

I've mentioned before that I go to a monthly moms of special needs kids support group.  It is truly one of the lifelines that keeps me afloat.

One of the moms is further down the road than the rest of us.  Much of our worries of the future, she has already faced.  She not only lived through it all, but came out on the other side having learned a valuable lesson.

She prayed like the rest of us that her son, J, would be "healed".

That prayer slowly changed through the years and became a prayer for her son's happiness.  A little something along these lines:

"Lord, I just want my son to be happy.  No matter how that looks to me or anyone else.  Just let him be happy with his life."

Today, J is a joyful 30 year old young man, living in his own apartment at a residential facility for adults with disabilities.  He is independent, is actively involved in his church, works a bit, and participates in activities at the facility with his many friends.

He is happy.

Oh, it may not be what the world thinks of as happy.

The world might think a 30 year old man should be a husband and a father.  A home owner.  A breadwinner.  A man who works out at the gym and coaches his son's Little League team.

But the world is not right.

J is happy.  He loves his life.  He doesn't think he's missing out on a single thing.

And you know what?

He isn't.

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