Thursday, November 7, 2013
Third Stage People
Wil and I are going to be photographed together on Saturday, as part of a project a friend is doing. She wants to document mothers of special-needs children, and include in her project an ethical will/legacy letter-type thing.
"What have you found to know or trust or believe as part of YOUR life journey? What have you learned from adversity, how have you navigated the tough times, what or who gives you hope and perspective?"
I've been mulling over those, and the other questions she has raised, over the last couple of days. I wrote a whole book on that very topic, but how to condense it all down to just one page?
This morning I not only drove Wil to school, but two of his friends that also have special needs. All three very different boys, with very different needs and strengths. Two of the boys are in a religion class called Morality and Justice. They, apparently, are learning about the Stages of Morality. Wil's friend, Jack, told me all about it, "Carrie, there are three stages of morality. There's the Self Stage, where you only care about your self. Then there's the stage where you only care about yourself and a few other people, like your family. Then there's the third stage, where you care about everyone."
"You're in that third stage, Jack," I said.
"Yea," he said, "so are all of us. Everyone in this car cares about everyone."
Then we bumped fists and got really excited about how awesome we all are, what with our magnanimity and all.
Ironically, despite all the extra attention, extra therapies, extra miles gone for the special-needs child, it is my experience that most special-needs children are Third Stage People, they don't think it's all about them.
If I had to boil down what I've come to believe most through the journey of raising a special-needs child, is that we are ONE. There is no "us" or "them," we are all threads in the greater tapestry, and all of our thoughts, words and actions affect the WHOLE.