Special Exposure Wednesday

I realized something this week: It’s never going to end.

For the first two and a half years of her life, my sight was focused on getting Julianna mobile. Crawling, pulling up, and all the other steps along the path to walking. I knew that on the far side of walking lay teaching her to talk, an even more daunting task. After all, you can grab a leg, bend it, set it down, grab the other one—you can guide her through the motions of walking, and thus help her learn what it feels like. The lips and tongue are not so accessible.

But all this time, I’ve thought that once those two monumental tasks are out of the way, life will get easier.

Until a few nights ago, when I realized that beyond speech lies reading; beyond reading lies math. And beyond these two most basic life skills lie a host of things I haven’t yet foreseen that walking, talking, reading and counting are not going to prepare her for. At every step of the way, learning will follow the same, agonizingly slow pace, each new milestone just as dearly bought as the last with great effort from her teachers…and from us.

The knowledge overwhelms me. I whispered it to Christian, lying in the darkness two nights ago, and he went still for a moment. “Oh, I know,” he said. “I can’t think about it, or I’ll panic.”

I try to be positive about life with special needs. But this is definitely not one of the warm fuzzy moments. I know I have visitors today from 5 Minutes for Special Needs. Those of you who are farther along the path, what words of wisdom have you to offer?


Linked to Wordful Wednesday and to