“Who me, a Special Needs Parent? I’m the wrong person for this kid!”

Who me??

Who me? A Special Needs Parent??

 

My mother often laments how I am such a LOUD girl. When we’re on the phone, she typically asks me to turn down my volume.  Or better yet, speak about a foot away from the mouthpiece. She’s perplexed how such a small person (I stand 4 feet 11 and 3/4 inches) could emit such a big, booming sound. Especially for an Asian daughter, it’s considered unbecoming and uncouth.

Despite my mother’s admonishment, I find myself having to use this Loud Voice often. I’m often shouting across a playground, a mall, sometimes an entire city block.  I do so to halt my eloping child from bolting towards the street, completely unaware of oncoming traffic.  He has a tendency to walk far enough ahead of us –oblivious that the rest of us are far behind — to afford a child abductor a gloriously uncontested opportunity.  At other times, it’s as innocuous as stopping him from swiping french fries off another diner’s plate.

Sometimes, my husband (who at six feet is also a booming presence) is doing The Loud Voice. Nevertheless, I often have to chime in. His baritone merely gets absorbed into the mass of people, muffled and unnoticed, as if he’s yelling into a pillow. But my soprano-shriek is much more effective at piercing through a crowd and turning stunned heads.  Luckily, my face is as thick as my voice is shrill.  My Loud Voice could slice through ocean to let me run through it.  All in hot pursuit of my son.

 

“Who me?  A special Needs parent?!

 

“I’m not the right person for this.  I’m not patient enough.  I’m not organized enough.  I don’t even like kids.  I don’t know anything about disability.  I can’t do this!  God, pick someone else…!”

After many years gutted by insecurity and inadequacy, wracked by the sinking sense of, “I’m not the right parent for this kid.  He’s doomed, paired with me…” I finally realized the God-given purpose for this Loud Voice.  He gave me this gift for a pre-ordained reason. He knew I was going to need it to call my beloved, oblivious son back to me.  To alert him of danger, to jolt his attention to a light that’s gone red, or corral him back when we’ve turned left to his right.

In Chariots of Fire, Olympic runner Eric Liddell says,

Eric Liddell, Chariots of Fire.


“I know God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run I feel His pleasure.”

 

It took me a while to get ok with this special needs parenting gig.  But I, too, know God made me for a purpose.  And when I am booming at my beloved son to call him home, I feel His pleasure.

The same Creator who custom-made my child, also custom-fit me for him, Loud Voice peculiarities and all.  WE are His workmanship.  We are both wonderfully and fearfully made.  A heavenly ordained pairing, we’ve been knit unto each other,

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

~ Psalm 139:13-15

 

How about you?  

In what unique, “peculiar” ways has God hard-wired you, that bless and serve your child well?  Come on.  Deep down, you know you’ve got something.  It’s not there by accident, so let yourself dance there a little.  I dare you.  For He delights over you with singing

 

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6 Responses to “Who me, a Special Needs Parent? I’m the wrong person for this kid!”

  1. Audrey@That Recipe September 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Ha ha ha! I swam as a kid and developed the Loud Voice so my friends could hear me cheering for them while they had their heads in the water. When I was a Physical Education teacher, the maintenance crew often felt the need to mow the lawn in the middle of my class. My students never had trouble hearing me over it even at the other end of the field. My son, however, is completely oblivious to my voice. Maybe he just ignores me. His dad could whisper something and he’ll come running.

    I know how you feel about asking yourself why God gave this child to me. A child that doesn’t sleep?! Me!!! The woman that needs a minimum of 8 hours to be able to function? But, I know He paired us up for HIS reason, not mine. 🙂 Sigh, now if you will excuse me, I have to go wash soap out of my son’s hair for the second time today because he is playing Bubble Guppies Good Hair Day.

    • Diane September 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Hi Audrey, haha, that’s awesome 😀 Thanks for sharing your stories! I know: What is up with our kids hearing everyone else’s Loud Voice but ours?? It’s as if they came prebundled, knowing exactly which buttons to press?! I hear ya’ on that guppy soapy mess 😉 God bless you and yours.

  2. Mary Choi September 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    I love your loud voice. I have one too and until now, saw it as a “flaw” rather than a “gift.” Keep on keeping on Diane!

    • Diane September 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      Mary, you just put a BIG smile on my face 😀 fellow petite Korean sister with a loud roar. Good thing we learned not to squelch what God gave us, eh? 😉

  3. Edward Yim October 23, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    My nephew also likes to walk far ahead of the rest of the family. It always makes me nervous when he does that. But my sister and brother-in-law always seem so calm about it. Neither my sister nor my brother-in-law has a loud voice. But I am always amazed my nephew still hears them from far away, even at a rather crowded place. Now whether he decides to come back,to walk with his family is a different question. 🙂

  4. Anita July 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    “Despite my mother’s admonishment, I find myself having to use this Loud Voice often. I’m often shouting across a playground, a mall, sometimes an entire city block. I do so to halt my eloping child from bolting towards the street, completely unaware of oncoming traffic. He has a tendency to walk far enough ahead of us –oblivious that the rest of us are far behind — to afford a child abductor a gloriously uncontested opportunity. At other times, it’s as innocuous as stopping him from swiping french fries off another diner’s plate.

    Sometimes, my husband (who at six feet is also a booming presence) is doing The Loud Voice. Nevertheless, I often have to chime in. His baritone merely gets absorbed into the mass of people, muffled and unnoticed, as if he’s yelling into a pillow. But my soprano-shriek is much more effective at piercing through a crowd and turning stunned heads. Luckily, my face is as thick as my voice is shrill. My Loud Voice could slice through ocean to let me run through it. All in hot pursuit of my son.”

    Ohmygoodnessthankyou for writing that! 😀 I am CACKLING! Two and a half special needs kids (half because #3 isn’t old enough for an official diagnosis) means I basically sound like a drill sergeant during Hell Week most of the time. Short, clipped, staccato, hoarse-voiced YELLING.
    It is. The only way. ANY. ONE. HEARS. ME.

    Sooooo…. I am not Michelle Duggar (of the “a soft voice turns away wrath” camp), although I long to be. Ohhh, how I long! But the kids God gave her are NOOOOOT the kids He gave me! Certainly!

    Our oldest is also the lead sled-dog. Has been since he was a baby. We have to run to keep up on walks and hikes. But the other two are hot on his heels. My friends remark how fast my kid are at the park. They’re huffing and puffing, kicking their kids into gear to keep pace. It’s kinda sweet and hysterical and terrifying all at the same time. About a year ago I had a breakthrough for teaching my oldest “stop” and “wait” whilst on walks (you know, when I’m a full block behind pushing a stroller with a one year old in the 90-degree heat?!). I bought a WHISTLE. Oh! SUCH A STROKE OF GENIUS. I don’t have to yell and the sound is unmistakable. People on the trail or at the park give me odd looks (I mean, a full-on WHISTLE, lady?! Where are we: football practice? WTH?!) but it works! And it keeps my boy from running away and being eaten by wolves, zombies or the stray pedophile lurking in the woods. SCORE.

    THANKS FOR MAKING ME LAUGH.

    As far as gifts? …How ironic is it that the mom who is a writer, musician, BA in English has three children with language disorders. LOLOLOLOL! You know alllllll those books we bought and looked forward to reading to our children? Literally about a thousand titles line our shelves. Don’t get me started on the real estate that’s being taken up on our respective kindles. …..Yeah…. Never gonna get read.

    God has a special sense of humor 😉 But I love Him for it!

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