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My Kids With Disabilities Helped Me Have a New Perspective

Growing up we had a sign that hung over our kitchen sink that read:

“Thank God for dirty dishes, for they have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry, we are eating well.
With health, home, and happiness, we surely shouldn’t fuss,
For by this stack of evidence God has been very good to us.”

Despite the sign, my parents still made me do the dishes all the time and liked an empty, clean sink. The poem, however, stayed with me and showed a different perspective. I often think about that poem when I look at my own two children with disabilities.

I remember to be grateful when my kids disagree and argue with each other. While no one loves to hear kids screaming, yelling, arguing and fighting over something as simple as which cartoon to watch, I am reminded if they are yelling and screaming it means they have energy. If they have energy, they are healthy.

When Maya and Christian are running through the house, playing outside games inside or trying to be Ninja Warriors on my furniture, I remember to be grateful. Watching them flip over couches is better than watching them lay in a hospital bed.

It really bothers me when my 7-year-old has 14 different outfits laid out for school. Then I remember to be grateful she can attend school. She is healthy enough to go learn and play with her friends. The clothes can easily be put away.

No matter how much effort goes into the clean-up, the toy room often looks like a tornado went through it. However, I’d much rather have them destroy our toy room at home instead of walking down the cold halls of the hospital to get to the sterile toy room available for patients.

I remember to be grateful for the clothes covered in mud because it means my kids were able to go outside, play, explore and get dirty. They were exposed to germs and did not get sick. They were able to play like any other child who doesn’t have a rare metabolic condition.

I remember to be grateful for when they constantly ask for a special treat, an extra cookie or more dessert. Their hunger means their Propionic Acidemia is stable. They are able to eat, be healthy and happy.

I’m not saying that a messy house, piles of laundry, and screaming hungry children don’t ever bother me. Trust me, it does! But when I stand back and look at it from a different perspective, I can see by that stack of evidence that God has been very good to us.

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