This past Friday night, my husband, myself, and Ryan, our 19-year-old son with Down Syndrome stayed in for the night. I know those of you who live in the world that we do understand that my statement is not a big news flash. Most of us find staying in easier than trying to go out and take along someone who just may not really want to leave the house.
Usually, our son is pretty easy going and we can do and go just about anywhere with him. But, sometimes you have to wonder, is it worth it? I know if we lived in the typical world our son would either be at work or out with friends for the night and not realty have much desire to stay home with his mom and dad. We could then go out and have dinner as a couple or any of the other things typical couples would do when they are headed toward the empty nest. But tonight, I heated up leftover hamburgers and we piled onto an oversized couch. We put all three plates on our coffee table and decided to watch the new Aladdin movie. But before we dove into the hamburger that I thought was right up there with Five Guys (I know it probably was nowhere near that, but a girl can dream right?), the three of us held hands and bowed our heads to pray. I had my husband on one side and my son on the other holding my hands and giving thanks, and I had an overwhelming feeling of being so content at that moment.
There is no place on earth I would rather be than with them right there doing exactly this.
In all honesty, I never thought we would be at a place like this. When Ryan was little there was never rest. We had to run just to keep up with him, or run to keep him from doing something he was not supposed to do. Rest came when I collapsed into bed thinking I had not done enough with Ryan, or his sister, that day, or that all I did do that day was yell at them. I remember even taking him and his sister to the movies when they were little, in hopes of a little downtime. I would put one on either side of me holding there hands and then I would fall asleep (I figured if they tried to move I would feel them pull away from my hands and wake up). Those times seem like a lifetime ago, and the words I used to hear that the “days are long, but the years are short” ring so true today. Sometimes I would love to go back to those crazy, stressed out, exhausted days as a mom with two littles.
But today, I can say that I’m content!
Amy is the Special Needs Ministry Director for The Chapel Green. She grew up at The Chapel and has been married to her husband Mark for more than 20 years. They have two children, Abby and Ryan. Ryan was born in 2001 with Down Syndrome. As her family began the journey with a special needs child, the Lord placed on her heart that Ryan came into the world to make a difference and that God had a plan for his life—even with an extra chromosome. (Jeremiah 29:11.) Amy was inspired to come alongside other families to support, love and share with them that their children are made perfectly in God’s image and tell them how much Jesus loves each of us. Amy is the author of It’s More Ups Than Downs and when she is not working, she enjoys being with her family, sunshine, flip flops and reading a great fictional history book.