How important is a mom? Is it any surprise that Jesus performed His first miracle based on His mother’s request? She had seen no miracle from Jesus prior to asking, why would she ask?
This is extremely symbolic and speaks to the role mothers have in our children’s lives and how critical they are to development. Mothers believe without first seeing. There are millions of mothers who are deserving of our respect. However, there is a category of mother from whom we can learn unique skills to be parents and individuals. This category of mother can show us the next level of how to live and strengthen our Faith.
These are the mothers of special-needs children. These moms truly believe without seeing even in the face of adversity and facts that point the opposite way.
Let me pose the following question. Would you want to be a mom if I laid out the following parameters?
- You will never get one day off from the time you have your child till death. Not one.
- You will fight tooth and nail for your child and their needs EVERY day for the rest of your life.
- You will be your child’s only human friend in life. Forever. Till the day you are no longer there.
- You will be still be looking for “baby” sitters even when your child is an adult so you can go out.
- You will never be an empty nester.
When a child is born we believe certain milestones by default. Children will learn to tie their shoes, ride a bike, figure out how to interact with others around them and make key attachments, perform in school, drive, have a job, and take care of themselves; they may even get married and give you grandchildren. As a mother you are there every step of the way guiding and teaching.
A special-needs mother believes these truisms. But she is faced with the adversity of doctors, teachers, psychologists, learned professionals telling her that her child will never do any of these things. What makes it worse is that the mother has to watch her child measured against “normal” children and NOT accept defeat in the face of overwhelming facts. I have seen this firsthand AND I have witnessed that these mothers do not buy into others limitations and prejudgment.
They know how to celebrate and appreciate the little wins which in reality are huge wins.
They advocate, promote, teach their children through persistence, creativity, and sheer will. They believe. This is how our Faith should be characterized. These mothers lead the way and show us the map to believing. Every advancement their children make is a miracle. I do not use this word lightly because the “experts” said it could not be done. They “experts” have no tangible way of explaining how their special needs child makes advancements.
As said in John 20:29: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” I consider myself fortunate as I have had the gift of watching firsthand a special-needs mother. I will not sit here high and mighty and say I have always considered it a gift – I have not. I am human and thought at times I was cursed. Prayer, writing, reflection, and my wife have taught me otherwise. She has brought my Faith to another level.
One other trait Mary and special-needs mothers teach us is never abandon Faith. Mary willingly followed her son all the way to the cross (John 19:25). Special-needs mothers need to care for their children every day of their lives until death. In both cases Faith in the countenance of agony must survive.
We all struggle at some point with believing, man or woman. The good news is that God has provided a map to our Faith, to being a strong believer. One map is found in reading the Bible and look towards Mary’s strength and leadership. In every day life open your heart and life to mothers who deal with the adversity of having a special needs child. If you are open, they will teach you to be a believer.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.
Copyright 2017 Peter Serzo