The big, whimsical sign in the window of a shop gloriously proclaimed that we should ‘embrace your journey’; coupled with a suitably serene and beautiful scene in greys and pale blues, it was one of those inspirational artworks folk seem so keen on these days.
Embrace your journey.
I’m sure the majority of parents with SN kiddos do indeed appear to do so.
After all, I’ve never encountered a love stronger than that which exists between SN families.
It’s a choice to keep loving one another through the ugliest and most appalling of experiences after all.
And we all laugh a lot too, often about our kids’ antics, the often hysterically funny mishaps or events that we live through (honestly, you wouldn’t believe us if we told you the half of it!)
Then there’s the usual family photos of us with our children – the bright smiles hiding the fear and heartbreak of knowing that such precious, calm and healthy times more often than not are the exception, not the rule.
Its hard to explain to someone who hasn’t lived it just how powerful a driving force this life is.
It forces you to find reserves of strength and resolve you didn’t know existed.
Having a child who relies on you to be their voice and advocate is both a privilege and an enormous responsibility.
Night after spent wide awake worrying over whether the right decision has been made, or whether you could’ve done more, done better.
Days spent juggling work, chasing appointments and equipment, filling in funding applications, liaising with schools/Councils/transport providers, all while trying to maintain a happy, regular family life for our children.
Exhausting? Yup. Worth every second to see our babies happy? Absolutely.
Special needs parents are warriors.
We take on far too much simply because we have to, not through choice.
For many it is more than the human spirit can survive; this isn’t a journey we can walk alone.
Yes, we embrace our journey, as do those who walk it alongside us whether they are fellow SN families, friends, relatives or professionals.
Its just that our journey often bears closer resemblance to Frodo and Sam’s journey across Mordor than Dorothy’s journey to Oz!