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The Art Project That Reminds Us We Can Do This Whole ‘Special Needs Parenting’ Thing

A year ago, my water broke with a trickle around 4 a.m. I wasn’t having any contractions so I figured it would be a while before I had a baby in my arms. At 9 a.m. I completed the art project I’d been working on and insisted my husband hang it in our bedroom above the birth pool (which I refused to let him fill since I was “probably dayyyyssss away” from having a baby).

hard things

Then we went berry picking for three hours in 90+ degree weather.

I was convinced we needed strawberries for jam.

Well, the berries went bad in the heat on my kitchen counter because labor started later in the evening, and my baby was born early the next morning.

He came out screaming and didn’t stop (or sleep!) for several hours and soon impressed us with strong preferences and will. Little did we know this was a sneak peak into our next year.

Parenting is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It challenges me daily and has changed me immensely. I used to roll my eyes at terms like “special needs” because they sounded so euphemistic and cheesy, but I get it now. It’s special, not strange. Different, not bad. And sometimes it just is.

I’m humbled by the care of our community and thankful to know the vulnerability of having to rely on others after being a do-it-myself-er all my life.

And each night before I go to bed I look at my art project and take a deep breath reminding myself that we can do hard things. And indeed we already have.


This post originally appeared on Couch to Five Acres.

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