The Bumpy and Unexpected Journey with Special Needs

Most of us clasp our hands around our airplane seat divider exposing our white knuckles trying to act like we’re really reading that book in our other hand and really comprehending it when the ride starts to get bumpy. But not for Joey. He loves the bumps! Sure, we’re doing just fine! But for Joey, it really is fine.

Bumpy is life with a child with special needs. They have many needs, particularities, and demands, etc. that can sometimes become quite overwhelming to us. They seldom respond or react like we think or say they will. I say, “Our Joey will make us liars every time!” It’s not intentional on either of our parts, its just life. How we think he’ll react or respond is not guaranteed.

Joey likes things differently than we do and often interprets things in life a little differently. If we have a lot of company, especially little children, it is overwhelming to him and he’d prefer to be alone in his room watching a movie on his DVD player or listening to music. While we are OK with the commotion for a while; he isn’t. I guess bumpy is better than noisy.

We love to hear the thunder in a big storm, and will sometimes sit on our enclosed deck just to take it all in. Joey, on the other hand will come running upstairs and get his comfy mat out from Joe’s closet to sleep on our bedroom floor! I guess he likes bumpy better than storms with thunder.

We’re never sure how things will turn out for any given situation, we’ve learned some important things to help us to weather the storms of change and challenge:

  • We don’t need to make mountains out of every molehill! Not every single thing is as important as we think it is. Few things ruffles our feathers!
  • We are a lot more flexible than were ever were and often more so than others around us.
  • We’ve learned to adapt to interruptions that are often ongoing.
  • We find genuine happiness and appreciation in the small things.
  • There are a lot of things most people take for granted that we don’t.
  • We recognize the privilege of getting to care for our child.

There are many other things, but the main thing is this: while our life with Joey has a lot of bumps along the way and many tough challenges, we are happy to take this journey with him….but the bumpy airplane ride….well…that is tough!