Membership has its privileges

There are times when I get really sad about the way things have gone in our life. It is usually because something has happened in my day that gives me reason to think deeply about life. I try really hard to let the realities of our life not get me down, because I can’t change what has happened. And I know that I work really hard to try to have some input on outcomes, so it gives me a bit of a sense of control.
When I have days like this, my husband will always revert back to his favourite 3 comments.
1) ” Maclain is the best, and we love him exactly as he is, he is a great kid”
2) ” We are lucky we have so much support from our friends and family.
3) “Think of all the amazing people you have met, and the things you have done and seen that you would never have gotten to”.

The conversation typically takes place in the hot tub, at night, with a glass of wine. And I usually nod in agreement at the first 2, but I always make a face at the third. For some reason, I never found comfort in that last point.

The last time this talk happened, I took some time to think about where I have been, who I have met and what I have experienced in the last 5 years because of having a special needs child. I wanted to really assess if I would gladly trade all that for a typical child?

I finally realized that if I wouldn’t want to trade Maclain for anything in the world, why would I want to trade any of the benefits that have come along with being his mom?

I joined this “club” 5 years ago. I didn’t ask to join, but I also didn’t have to pay an initiation fee and no one discriminated against me.. I also can’t ever be kicked out. It comes with a lifetime membership.
There is no club president, and no logo or clubhouse. But there are privileges.
The people I have met in the club have been varied. Its a mix of old members and new members, and there is someone joining almost every minute. We are in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and beyond. All races, all colours, all religions. Men and women. Gay and Straight. Some have children who have passed away, but most still have their precious ones with them. We have all been first hand witnesses to miracles. We share stories and ideas, and sometimes there are even parties. There is almost always someone who you can relate to and visa versa, and when you need a shoulder, you are offered many. There is no secret handshake, but there is a silent code. We have each others backs. When one of us gets hurt by words and comments from people who aren’t in the club we all feel it. When one of us has a battle, the others all get scars. When we fight for our child, we are fighting for all the children of our membership. If one of us is looking for an answer to a question, we don’t get one, we get tons. Some of the people in this club have become my dearest friends. I love them, and I would do anything for them. I would NEVER have met them in any other life. Since joining this club, I have traveled to cities I have never been to before, and there is always another member of the club available to welcome you with open arms upon arrival, even you have never met in person.
I have had the honour of meeting the most inspiring children, parents, and caregivers., and have become friends with people from all walks of life, in various jobs, with all sorts of personalities. I have experienced much sorrow, but have also been given reasons to rejoice. I have received awards, and also handed out accolades, and I have been to some pretty amazing events. I have seen how caring strangers can be to the members of our club, and how much of an impact that has made on the lives of those people have been affected in return. Sometimes you find yourself in a place you were always meant to be, but would never have sought it out. That’s how I feel about the “club”

I am proud to be a card carrying member of this special needs world. And as hard as the days can be, or as scared I may be of the future, knowing I am in the best of company gets me through those difficult times and gives me hope.

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