Tears and Joy

19 Nov

Some of you will know that our son has learning difficulties. We took him to the Paediatrician here at the beginning of the week, to receive some news which we really weren’t prepared for. We fully expected to have the same “Well, we’ll keep an eye on him and see you again in six months” conversation which we always seem to have with the specialists. This time they were talking diagnosis. Part of me will “believe it when I see it” and the other half of me is “Yes, finally, we’re getting somewhere – I might be able to understand what goes on in my little boys head”. I have an up and down week emotionally because of this. I went to my bookshelf and started to re-read a book I brought a few years ago called “A Special Kind of Love” by Susan Titus Osborn and Janet Lynn Mitchell. I was reminded that God chose us to be Ben’s parents with our talents, abilities, temperament and inadequacies knowing that we were perfect for the job. It’s good to remember this as sometimes I feel like I’m making a big mess of it all. I will never forget when Ben was 3 and his Health Visitor was doing a routine 3 year check, when she looked at me and said “I think there is something wrong with your son.” The following poem is by a mother whose son has similar difficulties to Ben.

The Plan

We had a plan for you before you were born.
You’d be the best that each of us had to offer –
Dad’s teeth and Mum’s toes,
Dad’s grades and Mum’s grace.
You were our little package of possibilities.

We watched you grow into a boy who liked construction,
Who had a bent for figuring things out.
Your favourite video was Hard Hat Harry,
And your favourite activity was building things,
Out of anything,
From sofa cushions to the dinner entree.

We weren’t prepared for the June morning
That shook the foundations of who we thought you were.
The report and the professionals who delivered it
Brought our perceptions tumbling down around us.

What did it all mean?
What was it you couldn’t do, you
Whom we thought could do anything?

When the dust cleared,
We began to sift through the rubble,
Finding the bits we could keep and disgarding the rest.
What remained was a boy who liked construction,
Who had a bent for figuring things out,
Whose favourite TV show was Nova,
Whose favourite thing was building things,
Out of anything,
From Mad Science projects to the sand at the beach.

Slowly, carefully, we began to rebuild
Selecting this, rejecting that,
Using new materials to build the scaffolding that would support you
While you reached for the sky

God had a plan for youbefore you were born.
You’d be the best that he had to offer.

(c) Charlene.A.Derby

That’s really our job, to build the scaffolding and support Ben as he reaches to be the best that he can be. He is one of our precious gifts from God, the other is Grace.


4 Responses to “Tears and Joy”

  1. Janet Lynn Mitchell November 22, 2006 at 04:40 #

    My prayer is that you believe that God chose you for the job!

    Many many blessings
    Janet Lynn Mitchell

  2. lynhallewell November 27, 2006 at 21:13 #

    Many thanks for reading my blog! A Special Kind of Love has been a wonderful blessing to me. Thank you so much (and Susan too) for putting together a real and honest book, it makes me laugh and cry, and know that I’m not on my own. I recommend it to any one whom I come in contact with that has a child with special needs.

  3. Rach December 12, 2006 at 18:04 #


    I’m sorry to hear this – I hope that God continues to show you the many blessings along the way.

    Thought you might be interested in this:

    It’s a blog by a guy who has an ASD son and also teaches in a school for pupils with specific learning difficulties.

  4. lynhallewell December 14, 2006 at 12:23 #

    Thanks for the blog adress Rach.

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