Relativity. We can only live and feel what we know, but at some point some I believe it is healthy to get perspective. My-problems-versus-their problems kind of thinking. When my son was living in Kenya for two years and wrote letters to us about what he was facing, and especially what the Kenyan people were facing, I got a weekly dose of relativity about my own worries. It was good for our whole family. We learned a lot and got more real about our lives.
This might be one of the reasons I enjoy special education (the other reasons being the amazing families I have gotten to know). I regularly see people who have had to learn to live with children who may never be independent. They have health impairments, learning disabilities, etc. that will keep them from ever being on their own, which means parents will never be on their own either. These people are heroes to me because, let's face it, some days it helps to know that one day we will set them free and just enjoy them from a bit of a distance. Am I right?
I have 2 friends in particular that I am thinking about here. One who has recently been left by his wife of 23 years. His autistic son will be his charge forever. He is a wonderful dad who is beyond willing to commit to this life. And though I am biased, I need to say how great he is at being the perfect parent for his 15 yr-old son. I love this guy like my own brother. The other is Heidi at Dunhaven Place. We have become friends, even though we have only met in person once. I could talk about a number of her talents and good qualities, but for this post I just want to mention her devotion to her family, which consists of a few members that need her regular attention and assistance. I love this lady, and have felt recommited to special ed because of these kinds of acquaintences.
So I am practicing a little relativity here, and realizing that even though I can have a hard day here and there, things could be harder.