The Best Part of a Special Needs Parent’s Day
“Stop and smell the roses” — a cliche, yes, but also a reminder we could all use from time to time. After all, what better way to end the day than taking time to focus on your favorite parts of it?
We asked parents of children with special needs in our Mighty community to share the best moments of their days. Reading so many sweet, heartfelt responses made our own days a little brighter. Here’s hoping it does the same for you.
1. “When I throw off the cares and expectations of the world and just enjoy my child and celebrate all her accomplishments and watch her do her thing.” — JodieandAlan Gerling
2. “When I walk in his room in the morning to get him ready for school. I say, ‘Good morning, sunshine,’ and he smiles before his eyes are even open.” — Chris Dudley
3. “When my nonverbal son curls up on my lap and snuggles with me. He is the most affectionate little guy I have ever met.” — Kel Billings
4. “When I drop my son off at school and he says, ‘One more hug, Mommy,’ five times in a row. You can never have enough hugs!” — Barbara Nothaker Meyer
5. “When my daughter unexpectedly comes up behind me and gives me a cuddle. They don’t come often, but when they do she makes my day.” — Maureen Gold
6. “Watching my son work through a challenge and push through to accomplishment; even when it’s as simple as saying hello to someone new. My heart bursts with joy for him!” — Megan Orine Campbell
7. “My son is nonverbal, but at least once a day, he will look into my eyes with a sweet smile on his face as if he’s looking into my soul and saying he loves me. It’s beautiful!” — Julie Cooper
8. “Best part of the day is when we are in our own little world. Our safe place at home. The challenges of the outside world are gone and for that moment in time we don’t need to worry about ‘swimming.’ We can just lay back and float carelessly and happily in the water.” — Crystal Beach
9. “Morning cuddles and nighttime book reading are the best parts of the day; everyone in the house enjoys this. We are all relaxed, taking time to just enjoy each other, be silly and breathe.” — Bridgette Rosek
10. “Even when I think my day cannot go any worse, my son makes me forget it in just a second. He’s the funniest kid, and there is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t make me smile and take my sadness or worries away.” — Wandis Villan
11. “When my 8-year-old daughter jumps off the couch (for no apparent reason), runs full speed into the kitchen to get a quick hug, kiss and “I love you,” and then runs right back to the couch.” — Lianne DeBanto Massa
12. “My son and I have this special ‘night-night’ saying that we do every single night, and without fail, he always adds something personal at the end, like, “I hope your knee gets better, Mommy” or “I hope I get better points at school tomorrow.” It melts my heart every time for him to show his caring side.” — Ninny Mundt Ryan
13. “The best moment of the day is when they wrap their arms around my neck and come in for a cuddle. Their love keeps me going every day.” — Kristin Novotny
14. “At the end of the day — when all treatments, therapies, medicines, supplements and blended tube feedings are done — we can forget about a diagnosis and enjoy cuddles and dance parties before bed!” — Amanda Moore
15. “When my husband and I were talking about how we were going to afford a car repair for his car, my 10-year-old son came up with all his allowance and said, ‘Here, you can have my money.’ We explained we would work it out and we didn’t want to take his money he earned. He said, ‘But we are family, and families help each other.’” — Susan Van Martin
16. “When my son with special needs, who just turned 20, tells me thanks for taking care of him. Or when he talks about his job and how proud of the residents (he is in a work-study program at a nursing home) he is when they accomplish a task.” — Christina Woods
17. “If I’m being completely honest, it’s that moment when everything is done for the day. My son has his meds, feeding pump is going, dishes are done, complicated bedtime routine is finished. Everyone is tucked away safely in bed and I can decompress for a moment.” — Kelly McCoy Hickey
18. “The best parts of the day are the little moments of connection — whether it be a tickle fight, a spontaneous hug or hearing ‘I love you’ with a sloppy kiss. The daily tasks are hard and exhausting, but I always try to appreciate these little things.” — Ann Weiss
19. “Daily snuggles and a hand squeeze three times, our way of saying ‘I love you,’ in return from my nonverbal daughter, make any day better.” — Megan Hopper
20. “My son is currently receiving residential treatment. We speak every single day … The best feeling is when I blow kisses through the phone and his response is, ‘I tucked them in my heart,’ and then he blows me some kisses to tuck in my heart .” — Christine Hire
21. “When my son who is 3 and has autism (and limited language) says, ‘You are special just the way you are’ or ‘I like you just the way you are.’ I melt every time. He has no idea idea how strong that truth is to me.” — Kristy Ebert
22. “The best moment of my day is picking my son up from daycare, first, because his smile and hug make the day great, and second, because seeing him embraced and included by his peers is so gratifying.” — Julie M. Gerhart Rothholz
23. “When my son comes out of his room, touches my shoulder and smiles. He doesn’t need or want anything.. just an ‘I love you’ kind of thing. No need for words.” — Rebecca Ponder
24. “Watching my daughter do things every day that the docs said she would never do! She is a fighter and is still fighting on.” — Kaycee Diedrich Morrison
25. “When I give my ‘to-do’ list the middle finger and just play. Just sit on the floor and follow their lead.” — Jillian Halstrom Saddlemire
26. “When my son randomly starts singing a classic rock song and we all join in as a family to finish it. Those are the moments I’m thankful for autism and my son Fox’s infinite knowledge on the best music genre ever.” — Lauren Martin
27. “When laughter fills our house.” — Christy Vogel
28. “When my kids show me love. I don’t need to hear it in words. I see it from them every day.” — Carly Beth
*Some answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
If you’re a special needs parent, what was the best part of your day today? Share with us in the comments section below.