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What does it feel like to be a special needs mom on Mother’s Day?
Someone entered this term on Google earlier this week and landed here on Beautiful in His Time. I really loved the question, so I posed it to two of my friends who are special needs moms. Yesterday, my friend Kathryn answered the question on her blog, Singing Through the Rain, and today I am hosting dear friend and special needs mom Katie Emanuel from Wonderfully Made to answer and share her perspective on Mother’s Day.
Jack sits in his booster seat, swinging his feet back and forth as he looks out the car window.
“Mommy?” he says as we pull into the grocery store parking lot.
“I love you,” he smiles.
I pause. I can feel the tears coming but blink them away. Instead, I turn to him, smile, and say, “Thank you so much sweetheart. I love you, too!”
When the car is in park, he says, “Mommy? Can you say ‘ok’?” the signal for him to unbuckle his seatbelt.
“Sure, buddy. Ok!”
Jack unclips his seatbelt, leans forward and gives me a kiss. He looks at me with his bright blue eyes and says, “I love you mommy. And on Mother’s Day I will give you a little space.”
I hug him tight and he smiles from ear to ear.
That afternoon, when we return home from the store, I find the following note from Jack, recorded by his teacher, in his backpack:
A year ago, Jack was not able to answer questions and could not understand or communicate feelings. A year ago, my son did not understand personal space, how to wait his turn, or how to make safe choices. A year ago, my son spent hours every day and night screaming in panic over a world that overwhelmed him and frightened him.
Today, my child is able to wait patiently, ask for permission to unbuckle his seatbelt, and politely ask for my attention. Today, my son offers me a hug and a kiss and connection with his bright blue eyes. Today, my son is able to convey his love for me. Today, my Jack gives me the precious gift of time and space to relax, to reflect on how much I love him and his sister, how they challenge me and help me grow, how they have love me in spite of my flaws and shortcomings. And that I love them beyond words.
As a special needs mom on Mother’s Day, I feel full of joy and hope. Though I do not always know where this journey is taking us, I do know all things are possible with God. I know because of Jack.
And Jesus said, what is impossible with man is possible with God. (Luke 18:27)
Katie is the blessed wife of an Air Force veteran and mother of two precious children. Her oldest child, Jack, age 4, was diagnosed with autism in January 2013. Later that year, Katie felt the Lord calling her to share her family’s journey and she launched Wonderfully Made, a blog dedicated to encouraging women along their journeys of faith, motherhood, marriage, and special needs. Though Jack’s special needs present many challenges, it is her family’s deepest hope and prayer that what they share at Wonderfully Made will encourage you to laugh, cry, learn, accept, and rejoice in what makes our children who they are – perfectly and wonderfully made by God.