Author: Karen Copeland
Every once in awhile someone will say to me that my life must be so difficult, so hard.
I’ve often said that I consider myself to be the lucky one because I have a child who does not fit this preconceived idea our culture has of what children should be like.
If I didn’t have this child, I would still be the judgmental person I was when I was younger.
I wouldn’t understand the beauty in the smallest of accomplishments, I would still take everything for granted. I would continue to think that education was the be all and end all. I wouldn’t know that success isn’t always measured by academics, sometimes it is about celebrating life! A different path or idea of success is not terrible or tragic. In fact, it can lead us to places we never dreamed of!
I would still be stuck making my child’s unexpected behaviors about me and my own anxiety. Instead, I have learned how to look deeper and listen to understand what is being communicated. I have learned how to honour his voice instead of suppress it.
I would never have understood what it meant to be resilient. My vision of what my life was going to look like was turned on it’s head, but I’ve learned that this life is so much better.
I would still be impatient and not always kind to others. Not curious. Inflexible. I would lack the perspective I have now; I have been offered opportunities to discover new ways of thinking, doing and being. I have learned how to pause…and consider, instead of blame and judge.
I wouldn’t have discovered the many strengths and talents I have that have been borne out of a passion to make a difference not only for our family, but others.
Perhaps the most important thing I have learned over the years is to be able to step outside of myself and my preconceived ideas in order to truly accept and celebrate who my child is. This is the best shift I have ever made in my entire life.
Yes, my friends. I am indeed the lucky one.