When we fell pregnant with our son, Reuben, me and my husband decided that we will try to make his life “as normal as possible” within the context of our special needs family. (Our daughter, Anika, was born with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele L3). We didn’t realise then what exactly we were attempting to do.
We were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole… it’s something that’s possible, but not right or reccommended. It’s not a comfortable fit, and not good for the peg, or the hole.
In the meanwhile, we decided to embrace our unconventionality. We as a family are who we are because of each and every member of this family. Just like we will always be bereaved parents and siblings, (our middle daughter, Esti, had a heart condition and passed away), we will also always be a special needs family, and Reuben is also part of it.
Special needs comes with it’s curve balls, and you can choose whether you want that ball to hit you between your eyes every time it comes around, or whether you want to play and embrace the game.
Next week, Reuben was supposed to start his “first year of kindergarten”. He went there to visit a few times last year, but this year is actually officially his first year. As a special needs sibling, he won’t be able to attend his first week of “school”, because his sister needs to go for a foot operation, and we will have to sleep over in Pretoria for 3-4 nights.
Now this is where the mindset and choice comes in. We, and he, can decide to take the curve ball between the eyes, or we can decide to embrace our unconventionality, make the best of our situation and focus on the advantages! Instead of thinking about the first week of school that he will miss, (which might not really make a difference to his life in any case) I think about the precious hours of one-on-one playtime he will have with his granny who will go with us to keep an eye on him. I think about the precious hospital visits he will have with his sister, the things he will learn and see along the way.
Our pastor preached this morning about “mooi loop”. It’s Afrikaans, and roughly translated to English it means to “walk slowly and give attention to things and love people along the way”.
Our son’s life will forever be different, because he is part of this divinely different family, and I’m absolutely sure that he will, just as I do, see the many blessings along the way!
Mooi loop seuna, dan sal jy sien wat so baie mense mis…