And you know what? That’s OK!
Maybe not to the extent that my wife did, but I had dreams of how my growing family would be. I knew how life was supposed to go – and just as importantly – how it shouldn’t. I would do many things differently from my own dad. Not that I didn’t have a lot of respect for him, but whether we had good dads or not, we always imagine we are going to be better. We have plans and dreams for how we’re going to structure our new lives, how we’re going to both teach and have fun with our kids.
But then it struck me: because of Kyle’s disability, there were things we would never do together. Gone was the chance to run and play ball together in the backyard. Countless other plans were destined to be scrapped. Plus, the added responsibility of managing a special needs child quickly changed everyday dynamics, especially when other children arrived on scene.
So many of my dreams were getting scrapped, and in all honesty, it just sucked. Thankfully, plenty of your dreams are going to survive this intact. But that doesn’t change the fact that losing many other dreams, to put it bluntly, just plain SUCKS. I know that’s the honest truth, and there’s no need to sugarcoat it. The important thing to realize is, we can’t allow this disappointment to make us do stupid things. We live in a messed up world; nobody’s perfect, everyone faces problems.
In fact, my middle son once asked me as we walked into church on a Sunday: “Why does everybody else seem to have it together while we’re always such a mess?”
I had just yelled at the kids at home because we were running late. We fought all the way to church. My dear wife was annoyed with me over the harsh tone I had used to help get everyone out of the house.
I gulped at his question, but then reminded him that in reality, they’re all a mess too! It just doesn’t show on the outside. Remember that this season of life can be extremely stressful. You’ll make mistakes; just don’t allow the stress to become an excuse for doing something you’ll REALLY regret long-term. Take a big deep breath. Go for a run, exercise, go down to the gun range and shoot some targets – whatever works for you. Explain to your wife that this is a constructive way for you to deal with all the craziness going on inside your head. Just remember that it needs to be something that brings you back to your family ready to lead them through the difficult times.
Hold on loosely to the dreams you have because life has a way of not listening to us. It’s not a matter of if we are going to screw up it – it’s a matter of when. It’s our response to the screw up that will make all the difference in the world.