Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Can there be a balance?

How do you handle the unknown? Are you able to live each day not worrying about the future of your child with significant disabilities? If you can - If I could - would we be better or worse off? And would our child be better or worse off if we could set aside the worry?

I read this great blog entry written by a dad to a child with Autism. Mr. Baldwin wrote:

"Now, when people ask me if my son will one day live independently, or have a job, or find a partner, I answer them honestly: “I don’t know”. I no longer pretend that I have any idea what will happen in the next year or decade. And I’m so much happier this way."

He goes on to write:

" I have no idea what’s going to happen, with your child or mine. No one does. The secret, I think, is to embrace this fact, and teach yourself to love the unknown."

Do you think it is easier for this dad to "love the unknown" because his son is still very young? What if his son were approaching 21, being forced to leave school, and not knowing what the future held? What if this dad and his wife were facing serious health concerns and there were no other family members to step in and help care for his son? Does "loving the unknown" mean not worrying, not planning, not advocating, or is it a way to step back and take a much needed breath each day?

Does trying to "love the unknown" make you happier, or make your child happier? Being a super organized, super planning type of person, I don't think it would make me happier. I think I would just worry even more, wondering if I was doing my child an injustice by not trying to figure out what her future might look like. But is all that worrying and planning and organizing taking precious time away today and every day from my child? Can I, and can you, find a balance here - maybe a little less worrying/planning/organizing and a little more loving and just being?

I think I will try that approach for a while and see. (Dang, I just planned my approach to not plan, didn't I?)

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