As a busy mom of many, I have many preferences I don't often indulge in. For example, I prefer gourmet coffee and cheesecake at a quiet place with leather couches, but I usually end up with chocolate softserve at the walk-up place near the creek the kids love. I prefer downtown hotels with 5-star amenities, but often succumb to the great outdoors in our tiny camper. I prefer live theater and concerts, but am often found at the $1 movie place with the sticky floor watching the not-so-latest kid flick.
For most moms, substituting kid-friendly entertainment for our own preferences is just part of being a mom. Most moms know that this season of life is only temporary. Someday, their nest will be empty and they can return to the things they enjoy. They may long for the day when quiet coffee and theater tickets are the norm, but they know it's coming.
The moms of kids with special needs have no such assurance. While we are doing everything we can to ensure our child's future independence, we know that there are no guarantees. Our nests may never empty. We are possibly on a lifelong parenting journey without an earthly end.
The more I think about this, the less certain I am that it's a negative thing. I've grown to really like chocolate softserve, $1 movies, and (gasp!) even camping! But more than that is the complete realization that my life is not my own. As a follower of Christ, I have given up those rights. Any plans I have for the future are just a vapor and can vanish at any moment. My desire should be to simply do what He's placed right in front of me to do.
I have always struggled with what I call "when we, then we". For example, when we have this baby, then we can start the new housekeeping plan. When we have mostly older kids, then we can adopt. When we have an empty nest, then we can travel more. Do you see how this can be a trap? Always longing for the future, but never quite content in the here and now?
Having Eon in our lives is forcing me to hold my plans more loosely, to look to the future with anticipation instead of certainty, and to enjoy my reality as it is right now. It may not be cheesecake and coffee, but I'm making the most of it!