I’m pretty sure that most parents who are raising both special-needs children as well as children who don’t struggle know the juggle that comes with parenting those needs and ensuring that their other children have a fairly normal life. It’s one of our greatest missions–one of the things that we work extra hard at ensuring we get right. As our family grew and many special needs got added to us, we were so intentional in trying to make sure that our other children enjoyed just being kids–that they never felt that they were unable to have a “normal” life. Sometimes we got it right, and there have, of course, been times when we have not done as well as we should have. Those times that we felt like we failed so often reminded us how thankful we are for kids who have extended us so much grace as we figure this juggling thing out.
Over the past few years, as our kids have become teenagers, we have tried to be even more intentional about our summers. Over the years we have always done things as an entire family, but we realized a few years ago that our teenagers also need time with just us. Time to have uninterrupted fun with Anthony and me without having to worry about wheelchairs, walkers, feeding equipment, etc. We wanted to make memories as a whole family together and with just them too.
And so each summer either Anthony or I take the “big kids” away for a few days alone. Just us and them. Making memories together. It’s been good for our family and a beautiful reminder to our big kids that they matter so, so much to us and that we are so thankful for who each one of them is.
This year we got beyond blessed by one of my dearest friends from high school. Her family has been so very gracious to open their home to us and treat us to the most amazing vacation of our lives. We kept it a complete surprise for our kids until we arrived at the airport. So fun! It’s a vacation that we have dreamed of doing, but it always felt so very out of reach.
We have been so incredibly blessed and so well loved and taken care of.
My heart overflows with gratitude that God is so good to pour out such a beautiful gift on us to enjoy. It has been such a precious and special time for me and these big kids of ours. They are so patient and make so many sacrifices to live the life we have been called to live. No words can ever express how special it has been for me to just love on them and remind them that we are so very thankful for each one of them and that they are deeply loved and appreciated.
Because sometimes life gets so busy and we forget to say it as much as we should.
He truly is a good, good Father.