Special Needs Awareness and Advocacy 

person laying on sand

Photo by Rebeca G Souza on Pexels.com

I think by now we have all heard, at least the chorus, of the popular song “Smile” by comedian Lil Duval and Snoop Dogg.  He says, “I’m living my best life, ain’t goin’ back and forth with you,” you know the rest, it has some expletives, but we are going to sing the clean version.  He also says, “you got a lot to be smiling for,” and “it’s evident, I’m hot as a crock pot.”

Sometimes, no, most of the time, we get caught up with the day to day routine of life, being a parent, daughter, son, friend, caregiver, wife, husband, and all the other titles that are placed on us, we forget “we got a lot to be smiling for!”

Chile, I’m hot like a “crockpot,” but I didn’t always think this way, as a matter of fact, I have to remind myself of this daily. Hey, I’m a work in progress, for 20 years, all I’ve looked at myself is…as a mother. Don’t get me wrong, that title means the world to me, I cherish it. It is the most important title that God could ever bestow on me.

Being a mother of special needs twins, I am always in fight mode, in champion mode, advocate mode. Fighting the school system, the doctor’s, the insurance company, hell, the world. You stay in that stance constantly, carrying the world on your shoulders, so this world will be better for your children, someone else’s children, for fairness, for justice, for equality. But during these battles, you often lose yourself, you get swallowed up, you forget you only pass through this here life one time, and forget you should be “living your best life.”

I woke up one morning and realized, you are more than a conqueror, have some fun, laugh out loud, live life to the fullest, (you know that cliché), it’s passing you by. I want you to fight for your kids, that’s what we do, but I want you to have some fun, live a little, you deserve it.

This is what I did. Switched up my routine. I signed up for school, some said I was crazy, I just kept going.  I stepped way out of my box and joined a couple of organizations, a new church which lead to new ministries, new people, and newfound interests. My circle of influence changed, which brought on new ideas and improved my self-esteem and mental health. I gained new ideas and treaded into territory that improved my life and my daughter’s lives. I even had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia for three weeks (which truly changed my life) and my family survived without me!

So I want you to do this, say no to some things without feeling guilty (I haven’t quite mastered that, I said I am a work in progress), you don’t have to go to the grocery store every Saturday at 10:00 a.m., instead grab a sandwich and your favorite magazine and head to the park, window shop, sign up for a cooking class, buy a bike a ride it, join an organization, meet new people, switch up that circle of influence, some of those folks are sucking the life right out of you anyway. It is perfectly fine to make new friends. You are already the best caregiver there is, but just remember to take care of you, your mind body and soul, and remember you are “hot as a crockpot!”  Live your best life!!