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This Exit, No Return

A Reader’s Theatre, By Joy Cowdery continued...

Susan: When our triplets were born in 1994, my twins survived, their brother did not. Madison is delayed, but Allison only has mild cerebral palsy. Considering their rocky start, both girls are doing well. My youngest is seven and blind. Yesterday, she announced that she wanted to be an artist. My first reaction was heart stopping. How can I tell her she cannot paint? Then it struck me, not all artists are painters, and why not? Why shouldn’t she dream of being an artist or whatever else she chooses? My daughter, the artist!

Jill: Oh, Mason.... No matter if I’m ready to lose it after hours without sleep, or you won’t stop banging on the windows making the whole house shake, or turning the TV on and off, or painting my kitchen with food… it all melts away when I catch you smiling at a bug on the window sill, and I ask you for a kiss.

Dee: Chloe can be sweet. She looks like an angel. She is truly a beautiful child with big brown eyes and the cutest mouth. She will smile forgivingly at nurses poking her arm for blood. She knows no hate, no jealousy, war, prejudice, and for this I am envious.

Susan: Things eventually get better. Soon the roller coaster ride you’re experiencing will turn into an easygoing merry-go-round. All children are individuals with their own pace and timeline. I’ve learned to relax about life.

Jim: Aaron truly lights up a room with his smile. He has a magical quality about him and people are drawn to him if they can get past his physical differences. That’s all it takes. Look at the person, not the disability.

Karen: Joey is a very loving and caring child like most children with special needs. He doesn’t ask for much, only to be loved and taken care of.

Jill: I remember looking back to before I had children when I wrote in my journal that

I didn’t know if I was ready to have kids and take on the responsibility of someone else’s life. Well, here he is and what a distance I have come. I am not only responsible for his life now, but setting up for his life after I am gone. Like all children, I will never stop fretting over him, but this responsibility continues after my life.

Susan: Having a child with special needs means that she isn’t just your child. More than most parents we have to be involved with professionals from day one. First it is the medical profession and then the education system. Having so many “experts” telling you so many things that can contradict one another is exhausting. Honestly, sometimes as parents we just go with the person who seems to care the most and trust them.

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