I used to have an ongoing mental list that looked like this:
Things We Can’t Do Because of Disabilities
1. Eat normal food all together at the table as a family.
2. Expect that people will keep their clothes on.
3. Ride in the car without people shrieking, throwing things, or removing their pants while crawling around on the seats and mooning people in the other cars on the freeway.
4. Go out to dinner.
6. Have Family Home Evenings that last longer than 3 minutes; attend church without drama.
7. Potty train our children.
Sometimes I still construct pointless mental lists like this:
Dumb Things I Ask Myself From the Bottom of the Pit
1. Do people with typical children realize what they have?
2. Will random people ever see the precariousness of my family’s daily life and stop pestering us to do all the things that normal families do?
3. Does God really think all this is necessary?
Other times, I breathe deeply enough to still the turmoil and find fragments of clarity. I think to turn the spyglass around and look through it properly from the correct end, so I can see things magnified clearly.
When that happens, the list is more like this:
Things Disabilities Have Given Us That We Wouldn’t Otherwise Have
1. An understanding of suffering.
2. A measure of patience.
3. An actual relationship with God.
4. Compassion for people who are different.
5. A disinclination to care about things.
6. An appreciation for life as a temporary state, framed between a whole history which happened before, and something glorious to come after.
Like my lists, things can change for something better.