Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spinning My Wheels

I think it's only natural, when you have a child with special needs, to think and plan for a different kind of future.

I've been around my house just casually assessing--trying to figure out which areas aren't handicap accessible. We've figured out a short-range plan that includes turning our tiny master bath with a tub into one with a walk-in shower. We would also need to put a ramp on our back porch because our house is raised off the ground (it is Louisiana). We've got long-range plans where we could create a suite for Charlie should he be living with us into adulthood. They're building a facility for handicapped adults about five minutes from our home, so that's also in there somewhere as a possibility.

But you know, all of this thinking and planning is basically useless. It's like trying to decide how to spend my lottery winnings (First, I'd pay off the house--NO!--first I'd set up a trust for Charlie--NO!--screw that, I'm going straight for the shoes). No one knows what Charlie will do or say or be. And really, no parent knows what will happen to their child. Your friends down the street who are wondering how they're gonna pay to send Sarah to Brown? Well, for all they know, Sarah will get knocked up at eighteen, marry the guy, and live happily ever after never attending a single day of college. And there are better and worse scenarios than that one. Point is, we can't predict the future. We can't know what's going to happen.

So if I get a little upset thinking it isn't fair that I have to plan for a handicapped future, I remind myself that what I'm doing isn't all that different from what other parents do: We hedge our bets, hope for the best, and try to love our kids the best way we know how.

The rest is out of our hands.