Her needs are clearly more visible than those of my kids, but as I watched the little girl work her way down the aisle, a moment passed between her parents.
Catching a moment
A moment of pride. A moment of pleasure. A moment that they may have never imagined possible. It was such a tender moment between them – as their little girl was out of reach and on her own, among a sea of strangers.
What stood out for me, was the knowing of that feeling. I have been where they were. I have not walked the path that they are walking with their daughter, and her daily challenges may far exceed anything that I face, but I have felt what I see between them at that moment.
I have gotten so used to apologizing for the “lack” of greater challenges regarding having a child with special needs, that I often minimize how difficult some seemingly simple things are. I often feel the need to excuse myself for feeling that my kids have challenges. Don’t everybody’s, to some extent?
Watching this beautiful parenting team, I realized that the challenges we all face are not meant for comparison. They’re meant to help us understand that we don’t always know the challenges that someone else is facing.
Understand and celebrate
Find those moments that help bridge the gaps of understanding of what other people are dealing with. We need to cut ourselves some slack when we are dealing with a difficult situation. When we’re right in the middle of it, it’s often hard to do.
At the same time, we also need to feel gratitude for all that we learn from those moments that we catch of other people and celebrate for them too.