So, listening to the chatter of a group of pals discussing the dangerous adventures that they've taken part in, I cringed.
White water rafting,
Trekking through the Himalayas,
Scuba Diving in depths that obviously shouldn't be allowed,
Living with a tribe in a country that hasn't been discovered by western civilization,
Being brought up by a pack of wild wolves from the age of 2, and having a scratch to prove it.
Each youngster had to outdo the previous.
The longer it went on, in the ultra-confident attitude that many young ones have these days, I thought about my rascals, and the life that they will lead, and of course, many people that I network with who are in a similar boat as my family.
Parents of children with special needs are the ones who really live life on the edge.
Adventure holidays are there to be taken, enjoyed and left, returning to a more sedate lifestyle with the 9-5 office job, or classroom to go back to. The people who take part are more often than not, very able bodied and the only support required is to check their safety harness is fitted correctly, and off they go, free as a bird.
There are adventure holidays available for those who are not able bodied, however, the planning, preparation, concern and sheer terror coarsing through the parents body while their precious little bundle is strapped into safety gear, is beyond belief.
I remember as a youngster, going on an adventure holiday. I didn't tell my parents what activities I had done until I had returned safely, feet firmly on the ground before I told them I'd capsized in my canoe, and that was just the tip of the iceberg!
Being a special needs parent is like an adventure holiday:
You kind of know what's on the adgenda everyday, but the outcome is anyones guess.
You know what time the alarm will go off in the morning, but will your child rise and shine without a meltdown?
You know what time the school bus is due, but will your child actually get on?
You know what's for breakfast, but will it be eaten without a fuss?
You've got the clothes out, but will they go on the child?
Are you getting my drift? and that's just the morning, not including the equipment check that has to be done by the parent, ensuring that medication, mobility equipement and specialist clothing is in full working order before they step out of the door.
Special needs parents, raise your chin as high as it will go and accept the round of applause, because, para-sailing, white water rafting, rock climbing, trekking through the Himalayas, scuba diving in depths that obviously shouldn't be allowed, living with a tribe in a country that hasn't been discovered by western civilization and being brought up by a pack of wild wolves from the age of 2, and having a scratch to prove it.....
.....Is a walk in the park for us :-)