Thursday, October 16, 2008

Seven Days of Life's Simple Pleasures-Day Seven

I have saved my best simple pleasure for last.

Day Seven is all about the time I spend enjoying the photography of my multi-talented daughter, Jenna. 

Parenting is the most challenging role anyone will ever take on, and few of us escape the journey mistake free. Add special needs to the equation and the challenges and rewards of that dicey walk become increasingly heightened. Special needs parenting is not for the fainthearted.

I believe strongly that no one faces the challenges presented these families with more love, loyalty, determination and spirit than do all those remarkable siblings. How they turn out as adults is, in large part, our fragile responsibility, one all parents should take seriously. I find the sibling voice so important that I included a entire chapter on addressing their needs in my book Breakthrough Parenting (click on book image on far left to order). Jenna made valuable contributions to the book, including the book's cover photo.

Our family faced the daily demands presented by our son with great love and determination and also provided him with exciting life opportunities. We worked hard to make sure we nurtured all Jenna's dreams, too, an effort that was easier to realize on some days than others. There were many rough moments, but we always took time to check in and make sure our firstborn was okay, and then kept our parenting fingers crossed tightly.

To see Jen become the beautiful, productive and talented young adult she is today, has offered us healing in more ways than one. It's helped validate our hard work and solid commitment to parenting both of our children well. It's made sleepless nights, frantic schedules, crazy juggling, many tears and yes, laughter, all the more worthwhile.

As a mother, being able to enjoy my daughter's amazing talent and life today has been incredibly rewarding, and such fun. I marvel at her many gifts, and I'm so proud to share just a bit of her talent with you. I hope it's an inspiration and example for your own life. This much I know. I'm still learning much from my daughter, and loving every single moment.

Be sure to spend time with all the kids in your family. They're all special.

(Photos copyright by Jenna Winter 2008. Used with permission. All rights reserved).


Sandra Evertson said...

What a cute pup!

paris parfait said...

Wonderful photos and sentiments. I can identify with being mother to a daughter and the challenges involved. :) It's a wonderful thing to see them turn out so well.

Jeanie said...

Well, I'm catching up on all your pleasures, and I'll comment on this one but it goes for all: FOUR STAR! Your pleasures are fabulous and I couldn't agree more. (Pirate is pretty darned cute! And no vet bills!).

A lovely idea, Judy. I may well be linking back to this one as I come up with some pleasures of my own!

Everlasting Designs said...

I can relate to your life as a Special Needs parent. When we made the decision to adopt, never in a lifetime did we know the road that we chose would be paved with cobbles. Our much-longed-for child would grow from infancy into a diagnosis of autism. It seems to me that once your world is labeled Special Needs, you have nothing more to do than hunker down for the long-haul. Paring down our non-essential clutter, both mental and material, has made it somewhat easier to focus on the real priorities - our beautiful boy, his therapies and education.