Over the weekend, Jack took a pair of scissors to my laptop and iPhone cables. They were in bits beside my nightstand. I said a swear. Thankfully, no lamps were harmed in this scenario.
I saw an article today in my news feed with the title, “The Hidden Costs of Special Needs Parenting.” Or maybe it was “The Hidden Costs of Disabilities Parenting.” I forget. Whatever. I scrolled past it because I ALREADY KNOW THE HIDDEN BAJILLION COSTS OF BEING A SPECIAL NEEDS PARENT THANK YOU VERY MUCH THE END.
In the event that this headline piques your interest, the hidden cost of raising ye olde complex child probably looks different for each special needs family. The needs are different, hence the esoteric supplies, services, and other expenses are too.
For us, this is what it means:
It’s replacing the useful household things that Jack has intentionally wrecked. It’s buying him new clothes that he works over with a pair of scissors before the first wearing. It’s the new remote control we must periodically buy for the TV, because the old one was smashed to bits on the hardwood when Jack got mad. It’s the new vacuum I buy every 8-9 months because Jack has loved the previous vacuum to death. It’s the hand soap that I basically purchase every other day of the entire year. It’s the specialized food and the food wasting.
It’s a whole lot of other things that I don’t even want to talk about, because what I’d rather be doing is going on a tour of Scotland right now with all the money that I DIDN’T spend on hand soap and vacuums and new charging cables and beige kid food.
Okay, I just read through what I wrote to this point, and I’m honestly feeling ungrateful.
We actually DO have a lot of disabilities-related expenses. But we also have a lot of disabilities-related resources and gifts.
Jack HAS disability services. He has health insurance and therapy and respite care. His prescriptions are covered.
We have jobs and can afford to replace all the crap Jack breaks.
We can buy the food that he and the other boys *might* eat, or *might* dump out on the floor.
We have a free and appropriate education available for our boys, meeting them at their ability level.
We have Moana, which we are recently watching AS AN ENTIRE FAMILY (#miracles) on repeat.
We have peanut butter and chocolate chips and fresh produce and milk and eggs and hummus and Havarti on rice crackers (mmmmm).
We have flushable wipes for the newly-minted, potty-trained child, so he can be both independent and clean.
We have cars that let us take Jack on rides and take ourselves to work and the gym and everywhere else.
We have books and phones and desktop computers and laptop computers and Netflix and picture books. We have PBS and a DVR. We have the Jack Cam, which makes our lives better.
We have clothes to wear. We have a roof keeping out the rain. We have our church at the bottom of our street. We have friends. We have family.
Basically, please ignore my whining about the super unfair hidden expenses in the raising of our unique boys.
We have everything.