Sarah Palin Has a Special Bond With Families of Special Needs Kids

sarah palinSarah Palin got me today. This week she published the sweetest tribute to her son, Trig. As most of us know, Trig has Down Syndrome. He's a strapping 4-year-old now, and Sarah just couldn't be prouder.

Sarah reveals the secret every parent of a special-needs child knows: That the true joy of parenting doesn't come from watching your child "achieve" their milestones. Instead, it comes from countless daily acts of nurturing, of watching your child become their best versions of themselves, and watching your child bring out the best in others.

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Sarah Palin talks about the special bond families of children with special needs share with each other. It's their "shared experience of the joys, challenges, fears, and blessings of raising these beautiful children whom we see as perfect in this imperfect world." I've seen that with my mother -- my youngest sister has cerebral palsy. And like Sarah, she "wouldn’t trade the relative difficulties for any convenience or absence of fear." I've heard my mom say that same thing so many times.

I think special needs kids force parents to slow down and notice the little things more -- and treasure them! All parents have this opportunity, but special needs children just have a way of bringing that into sharper focus for their families. As Sarah puts it, "He may not be the next Wayne Gretzky, but our hearts are filled with so much pride watching Trig giggle with his sisters’ puppies, or sway to the rhythm of his Little Angels DVDs, it’s as if he were hoisting the Stanley Cup."

She credits her network of support from friends and family, and Todd, who has stayed up late with their "restless" sleeper and even pureed his baby food. And Sarah is proudest of her son when strangers show kindness. "I am so thankful for their good hearts. They represent the best in our country, and their kindness shows the real hope we need today." Having a special needs kid is a real baptism by fire -- but the rewards can be tremendous.

Do you have a special needs child in your family? What kind of a difference has it made in your life?


Image via sskennel/Flickr

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