#4!? Why We Are Growing Our Special Needs Family: Trust Your Gut

Four kids? That’s crazy.

Or is it?

Four kids, and special needs? Definitely crazy.

Right?

The addition of #4 has been a topic of discussion for me and The Queen for quite a while. Four kids always seemed like a stretch. Especially when SATB2 was added to the equation.

But every day we grow. What once seemed like a stretch becomes a possibility.

And then a must.

The quiet moments in the wee hours of the morning are my opportunity to sit, breathe and meditate.

At some point in the quiet, I hear the creek of the door as a groggy Mack emerges from sleep.

The boys are early risers.

Mack suspended in the half-wakefulness of breaking slumber. Me suspended in the half-wakefulness of meditation.

We shoot for 8 hugs per day, but the first is always the sweetest.

He sinks into my crossed legs and melts into my lap. The embrace is silent, but deep. A warmth, a love that is hard to put to words.

While the mind is quiet and the world is slow, answers are clear. Your intuition knows. Trust your gut.

Dad is my superpower. The Queen is made to be a Mom. These kids were crafted to support each other. This family was designed to be together.

But we’re not done yet.

The Mrs. summed it up best in the FB announcement…

Are we crazy?! Heck no!

You could ask the internet:

Or you can trust your gut.

We’re going with the gut.

Does special needs play a role in our decision? Of course. Special needs is part of our reality. But it doesn’t define us. It doesn’t limit us. Special needs makes us stronger, more capable, more daring. Embrace every moment, every opportunity.

One more person to love Awesome Mack.

There are no “right” answers. We’re all making it up as we go. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Trust your gut.

The Dudes are growing, and we couldn’t be more excited!

PS – We’re getting a puppy too!!! Yeah, that’s kinda crazy. 🙂

Update: 2.17.18

#4, Baby Boy

The Changing Tides of Special Needs Parenting & the Cycle of Grief: We’re Lucky. But Sometimes It Doesn’t Feel That Way. [Featured on the Mighty]

Related imageFull post featured on The Mighty. 

The morning surf-check is one of life’s delicacies. A day of clean waves is nothing short of a gift from God.

Unfortunately, the clean lines that surfers crave do not always march to shore. When the variables – wind, swell, tides, etc. – are not aligned those clean lines become a mass of confusion, some days/hours/minutes more threatening than others.

Those messy, threatening days do not dilute the fortune of living by the sea. The stormy moments offer a richness that would be lost if every day was nothing but clean lines.

Similar to the rogue wave or sudden storm, life’s engineering does not always match the forecast.

The Mrs. and I have shared the beginning of our special needs parenting journey:

As this special needs journey continues, the richness matches the beauty of the sea – unfolding in calm breezes, clean waves, and favorable tides. And unexpected storms.

Unfortunately, as any surf forecaster will tell you, ignoring the storm does not change the foreboding path. Storms will arrive. And patterns will repeat.

There is a cycle of grief. And this cycle repeats. Despite my best intentions to change the unchangeable, I recognize this cycle because we experience the raw emotions – on repeat.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

We work through this grief cycle individually and as a family. We manage this cycle as best we can, and I’d like to believe we are improving with each repetition.

We yearn towards the clean lines of acceptance, and we revel in the warm sun and cool breeze of our strong, loving family. The majority of our time is spent enjoying the amazing waves of love and happiness that ALL special needs parents know.

But we need to mindful of the forecast. We don’t know when the storms will blow through, and we don’t know how hard we will need to bear down to remain grounded, but be prepared.

It’s amazing what a well-timed hug or good cry can do.

We’re lucky to live by the sea, but we’re even luckier to be special a special needs family.