Gifts for Dad ➔

Many times, being the parent to a medically fragile or special needs child means missing out. There are so many extra precautions that must be taken. Every outing or event takes extra time and preparation. Each decision must now be made based on the needs of your child. And often, amidst the missing out, other people in our lives don’t fully understand. OR, we feel that we have to explain ourselves every. single. time.

We want our friends to understand we desperately wish to be at their children’s birthday parties, or those nights out, or their baby showers, or bridal showers, or whatever special moments they celebrate.

We want our family to know we would much prefer to be able to be at that family get together, or to go with them on that outing.

We want our spouse to know we wish date night came more frequently, and we long for the days when our family did all things together instead of separating for functions in order to protect one child, and allow the others to still have a life.

But sometimes, we grow weary of explaining. Explaining that we still really want to feel included, but we may often have to turn down the invitation.

So instead of explaining AGAIN, maybe save yourself a few explanations and share this with those you love instead.

To you,

My friend, or family member, or spouse, or child . . . 

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for the way I have suddenly become unreliable—through simply no choice of my own.

The way in which our house that once was but is no longer always a welcoming home.

I’m sorry that I cancel plans last-minute and at the slightest sign of her struggle.

To stay home in my PJs and hold her and watch her and just snuggle.

I’m sorry that I virtually never show up, even on the days that I desperately want to.

I wish it was like it used to be, and my absence often hurts me, too.

I’m sorry for all the celebrating I miss out on—the showers, and parties, and plans.

If I could be there I would, but instead I’ll be holding her hand.

I’m sorry for the times she is struggling. When plans change at the drop of a hat.

I’m sorry for the nights that there is no option because a babysitter, what is that?

I’m sorry that now life is different and we always run on her time.

My schedule revolves around her and the health of her little mind.

So friend, I’m sorry I missed you.

I hope I can see you someday.

Just know that my love for you is unchanged through this journey that keeps me away.

So if I could ask one thing of you, it would be that you give us your grace.

Grace for the moments we miss out, and the times we do life at our own pace.

Grace for the days gone by when we’ve been unable to come around.

Grace for our cancellations and the times that we let you down.

Grace for all the commitments we will make but inevitably break.

Grace for the ways that our change of life often makes our own hearts ache.

So now that you know of our reason, that this season of life is too much . . . 

Would you still send us an invitation or a note, or at least keep in touch?

Because though our lives are now different, there is one thing that remains the same—

The way in which we still need you as we walk out this journey of pain.

Originally published on the author’s blog

You may also like:

Dear Special Needs Mom, I See You

So God Made Special Needs Parents

To the Special Needs Mom Who Sits Alone

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

Sarah Lango

Sarah Lango is a momma of 3, wife, writer, speaker, Jesus follower, and coffee lover from small-town Missouri. She is the founder of Gracefilled Growth Ministries, where she writes about her faith, marriage, motherhood journey, and her new experience of being a “sick kids” mom. Her passion is to inspire others to live authentic lives, learning together, and embracing the grace that God so lovingly offers. You can read more of Sarah’s writing at www.gracefilledgrowth.com.

There’s Just Something about a 4-Year-Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
4 year old girl smiling outside

There’s just something about a 4-year-old. The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.  The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”  The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours. And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

You’re Graduating From Kindergarten and the First Part of Your Life

In: Child, Motherhood
Mother, father, and little boy in graduation gown, color photo

To my little graduate:  I’m so proud of you. I used to think graduation ceremonies at this age were just a cute, end-of-the-year celebration. Now I see how much they really represent. I watched you in amazement this year. I saw all of your hard work. Not just academically but socially and emotionally as well. You learned to make friends without me there. You learned how to make your place in the world. You have learned to deal with disappointment, stand up for yourself, and the awkwardness of not being friends with everyone. You dealt with teasing because of your...

Keep Reading

He’s Outgrowing My Lap But He’ll Never Outgrow My Heart

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

He’s five now—my baby, the third of my three children. I feel like I’ve taken the time to enjoy each stage, but no matter how much I try to savor, it still seems to go too fast. Like grains of sand slipping through my fingers—if I try to hold on too tightly, the years just seem to escape faster. We were sitting in church this morning. He had asked to sit in church with mom and dad instead of going to children’s Sunday school. And we let him. He’s gone from a squirmy toddler to a little boy who can...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Don’t Ever Lose Your Helping Heart

In: Child, Kids
Young boy carrying two gallons of milk, color photo

When you carried two gallons of milk on our way out the door at Aldi, I smiled. You insisted to take them from my hands. You’re growing out of your shoes and shirts, and my prayer has always been that you’ll reach your full potential as a young boy growing into a young man.  You’ve always had a drive inside you that is seen big on the soccer field, and I pray you’ll always desire to work hard and serve strong wherever you are. RELATED: Let Us Raise Boys Who Have Respect Running Through Their Veins I pray you’ll work...

Keep Reading

9 is Changing Right Before My Eyes

In: Child, Tween
Girl sitting in car holding stuffed animal, color photo

“You are officially tall enough to ride without a booster seat,” our pediatrician tells my daughter after reviewing her measurements. It was her 9-year check-up, and she’d grown three inches in a year, landing at the 96th percentile for her age. She’d likely been tall enough for months, but I insisted we wait for her doctor’s confirmation, comforted by the imminent discussion on sitting safely sans booster. My girl gleefully melts into the car’s fabric and buckles her seatbelt, flashing a smile that showcases an assortment of adult and baby teeth. Reality hits me like an airbag in the face:...

Keep Reading

Goodbye To the Preschool Years

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother smiling with giggling preschool daughter, color photo

For me, personally, I feel as though this is the first gut-wrenching string I’m letting go of with my little girl.  Although when she started preschool I felt nervous and I missed her like mad, I knew I still had two weekdays with her as well as the weekend. It has been perfect—freedom and growth while at preschool—but still time for us.  School is on the horizon. The year of starting school has come quicker than I was prepared for. It has literally flashed before my eyes.  I have spent every day with my girls since they were born. Every...

Keep Reading

Don’t Ever Lose Your Sparkle, My Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Smiling little girl

I wish I could freeze this time, right where we are now. Right in this moment. Nothing is more bittersweet than seeing you grow.  People say time flies, and I didn’t really know how much it did fly until I had you. Until I held you in my arms for the very first time.  Since then, I have watched a little girl grow, right before my eyes. I watched her first steps. I heard her first words. I wiped her first tears. I held her hand the very first time. She grew. She keeps on growing. I see her smile...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Will I Know You Tomorrow?

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Smiling boy

When you were a newborn, I knew you as well as it’s possible to know another human being. I was your everything; you were mine. I knew what each cry, each smile, each grasp intended. I anticipated your spit-up, your hunger, your fatigue. You grew into infancy, and we remained nearly as intimate: your laughs, your budding motor skills, and your newfound interest in toys were my complete delight. I was there with my camera to document the first time you sat up and played with toys on your own. I knew every single food you had eaten and its...

Keep Reading

Down Syndrome Does Not Define Her

In: Child, Motherhood
Infant in hospital bed, smiling, color photo

Riley’s story starts April 23, 2019. We had opted to get the 3-month scan and NIPT test with our third pregnancy just for the extra ultrasound. The tech brought in the maternal fetal medicine doctor, and he pointed out that there was an increased nuchal translucency measurement and that it was common with different trisomies. He suggested we have the materNit21 test to see which specific trisomy we were at high risk for. We opted for it. I got the call a few days later that the baby was at high risk for trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down syndrome....

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections