To My Child with Special Needs

Over the weekend, I read the post The Pain of Disability by Kerry at Transcending CP. (You’re following her by now, right? She’s an amazing 19-year-old, former preemie and is a triplet who has CP and the gift to write). In her latest post, Kerry shared the hurt she has caused her mother. I had a visceral reaction to the post. I wanted to respond, but it wasn’t working from my phone, so instead, I emailed myself and am posting that message here. In short, I wanted to hug Kerry and I wanted to hug her mom and I really wanted Kerry and Owen and Jack and US Boo and UK Boo and Tucker and every child with special needs to know this:

To my child with special needs,

It’s my honor to be your parent. I hate what you have had to go through…but you know, for ME, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every day, I see a miracle take place. I see something happen that maybe shouldn’t have. To be apart of YOUR life. I am privileged and couldn’t be more proud.

I won’t deny it, you will see that I have hurt. Seeing an innocent child go through what you have had to go through…and the struggles you will continue to have…that’s hard for a parent to accept. To know that I’m the parent and powerless to make it…for YOU…all go away. Yes, that has hurt. However, YOU did not cause that hurt.

And, whatever hurt I have felt is far surpassed by the joy of each moment I get with you. Watching you try, watching each of your successes – big or small – celebrating how far you have come; that, my child, I wouldn’t change for the world.

YOU have not caused me any pain. YOU are amazing and have shown me a joy, I’ve never before knew existed. YOU have made me a better person.

EVERYDAY, I am thankful to be your parent.


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© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

19 thoughts on “To My Child with Special Needs

    • Thanks, Amanda…is okay to admit it made me cry a little too? I guess if there is one thing I want to make sure I do right in this parenting thing, its for my kids to know this post.

      • Yes, I agree! And by cry, I mean bawled like a baby. 🙂 I did that when I read Kerry’s post as well. You took the words right out of my mouth in this post.

  1. Oh behalf of me and UK Boo, a thousand thanks for saying what I would want to say but better. Yes, the situations our kids and we have found ourselves in stink sometimes and I would change it and make it all OK for Boo if I could. But I can’t. It’s not his fault or mine. But what he is responsible for is bringing so much happiness into our lives and a totally different and life-enhancing perspective. It’s not always easy, but it is what it is. And I am grateful for him every minute of every day. (By the way, I read this in the middle of the night while Boo was crying and I shed a tear too…). Thank you. A gift, indeed!

  2. Tatum,
    Thank you for this perfectly perfect letter to all of our children. YES, I would love to take away the struggles that Tucker (and ALL of them) have because I want to make things better for him (and ALL of them), but you’re right – the joy and wonder that we are able to experience because these kids are exactly who they are is unparalleled and the most beautiful thing in life. My favorite line is not changing the celebrations of watching them try, and celebrating how far they’ve come.
    I love this post so so much and forgive you for making me cry at 8am on a Wednesday morning because it’s one of those really good cries that makes me thankful to have you as a friend.

    • I’m glad you’re my friend too, Kristi. I’ll be even more glad when we share a bottle (or so..) of wine one day. I’m sorry for making you cry at 8 AM on a Wednesday, but hopefully it was before you put on your mascara. xoxo. thank you for the kind words.

  3. Thank you for writing this. I read Kerry’s post this morning and am still in tears. I never want my Boo to think she has caused me pain. She is my miracle and when I look at her I see joy.

  4. Tatum,
    I have read this post about eight times. I would have commented earlier but I just couldn’t think of the right words…there are no words. Thank you. This is perfect. More than perfect. It left me in tears, and it made me feel lighter somehow. I am bookmarking it so that I can read it over and over and over again. xoxo

    • Thank you, Kerry, for starting the conversation. Your voice is so important in this community. Your writing is truly changing lives and I thank you for it.

  5. Just wanted to say what a Beautiful letter. I too have been lucky enough to read Kerry’s blog and that post also made me really cry still am….it’s just so bittersweet this parenting thing!

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