Who Got the Deal?


In college, a friend at the time taught me an awful game called “Who Got the Deal?” where you basically judge couples solely on appearance and decide who between them got the deal.

(Awful, I know! Feel free to scorn my 19-year-old self; she deserves it.)

Anyway, we would sit in the plaza in between classes and judge people.

“He totally got the deal.”
“Oh man, she got the deal, how’d she manage that?”
“Does she know she got the deal?”
“Does he know she got the deal?” and on and on…

Sometimes we couldn’t decide who got the deal, and we considered those relationships a good match — they may even last! We also believed from the analysis of our research that the best possible relationship scenario is one in which both people think they got the deal.

“I’m so lucky to have you” + “I’m so lucky to have you” = Happy Couple
Wood, L., et al. (1999, May 5)

There is a common compliment given to parents of kids with special needs that goes something like: “I don’t know how you do it.” “I could not do it.” “God picked the right parents for Julia.” “God knew what he was doing when he made you her parents.” etc. …

These are all meant well. The intent is to encourage and express admiration — I understand that — but they make me very uncomfortable, and I know I am not the only special needs mom to feel this way.

They make us uncomfortable because what this type of compliment implies is that our child got the deal.

“Julia is so lucky to have you.” Julia got the deal.

We cannot just casually accept these compliments because nothing could feel further from the truth.

This little person came into my life and rocked my world — for the better. I was a little bit of an arrogant, ignorant, naive, judgmental (see story above), selfish control freak before Julia. And while I am still all of these flaws and more, I know I am getting better. And the turning point was Julia’s arrival.

She changed everything.

My awareness increased, my compassion increased, my tolerance increased, my faith increased, my hope increased, my joy increased, my patience increased, my confidence increased, my humility increased and my judgement decreased — because of her.

God knew what he was doing FOR ME when he sent Julia to me.

If anyone is “lucky” it is me.

So just to be clear — and in case appearances suggest otherwise — in this relationship, in every single possible way, I SO GOT THE DEAL.

mom holding daughter inside bounce house

This post originally appeared on I’m Julia’s Mom.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Uncategorized Disorders

When You Get a Special Needs Diagnosis, You Have a Choice To Make

This morning my daughter Julia did something amazing. She linked two signs together to form a request. Six years, three months, 30 days of life leading up to two signs: More + glasses = I’d like my glasses, please, Mom! My cup overflows, my heart is bursting with pride. Hugs and tears were shared, texts [...]

How a Father Helps His Son Escape Excruciating Pain

John Dilgen wants nothing more than to help his son escape the pain. Every day he watches his 11-year-old, John Hudson (JH), battle Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare genetic tissue disorder that makes his skin prone to severe blisters and tears. Dilgen estimates that 60 to 70 percent of his son’s body has no skin [...]

Beautiful Portraits Show Cystic Fibrosis Is Not Just a Childhood Disease

Ian Pettigrew sometimes thinks of himself as an interloper. The portrait and fashion photographer based in Hamilton, Ontario, is a 45-year-old with cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease with a life expectancy of about 40, according to The CF Foundation Patient Registry. His symptoms are relatively mild, though, and he wasn’t diagnosed until he was 38. “I [...]

To the Mother of the Adult Son With Down Syndrome in the Grocery Store Today

Dear Mother, I saw you as we were all on our way to check out. I noticed your son instantly. Big cowboy hat, American flag vest, short stature, almond-shaped eyes. Down syndrome. I almost followed you into your line, but that seemed like stalking, so I spied the lengths of the other lines first, only [...]