Coming Out Of The Cave
We have all watched the Chilean miners surface from their two months in a cave 2000 feet below the Earth’s surface. One can only imagine what they contemplated down below. I have no doubt that they emerged with a new clarity on the world.
Having a special needs child is in many ways a similar experience. At first you enter a dark cave with lots of fear. You then finally see light and hope, and emerge with an ability to reframe and see the world with different lenses. This week I received a call from a Rabbi in the community. A pregnant lady had just found out she was carrying a Down syndrome baby and was adamant to abort. The father was more ambivalent and had called the Rabbi. The Rabbi asked if I would speak with them.
I have my clarity about being the mom of a special needs child. I have a heart full of love and appreciation that G-d gave our family the largest gift ever with Caily. That said, I was nervous to speak to this family as there is so much to say and explain. I met a friend and shared with her the situation and the call that I was expecting. She looked at me somewhat perplexed about why I would tell a family to keep such a baby. She commented “Caily is amazing but not all Down Syndrome kids are.”
She left me thinking that having a child with special needs puts you on a different level of awareness and makes you very appreciative of all those little things that normally we take for granted. G-d has allowed me to reframe the world; I have learned to give unconditionally and to be so much more accepting of people in so many different situations and to have true empathy. I have realized that what makes me great is not having high achieving, cute kids but living a life with meaning. These are immeasurable gifts and I appreciate having the value of life explained to me.
Have you had a coming-out-of-the-cave experience? Metroimmas, please share your stories about finally seeing the light…
Originally published: October 17, 2010