Square Peg

A Square Peg in a Round Hole

I’ve thought a lot lately about how to label what it is I’m passionate about and what it is I do {in all my free time}. I landed on the term “Bridging Gaps.” What type of gaps am I trying to bridge, you may wonder. There are many kinds, but I would say the largest one, widely gaping open is that of persons with (or affected by) disabilities, to those that are able bodied “normal” people. In certain spaces the chasm is wider than others, but even in the best of circumstances and with the best of intentions, there remains a gap of some kind.

It’s exhausting to live in a world not set up for you [or your loved one]. It is physically exhausting trying to constantly plan ahead and troubleshoot all possible accessibility issues. Once we took an extended family trip to the San Antonio Riverwalk (which I had visited before as a single, able bodied person and had no issues). Taking that same trip with our son in a wheel chair was a never ending hunt for elevators hidden in secret coves to elevate us to street level and grant us access to a bridge to cross the river, only to then backtrack on the other side of the river to eventually unite with our extended family. Rinse and repeat. “Hopping” back and forth across the river was not a simple task. That place, [and the world] is not set up for people with accessibility issues.

On top of the tangible physical hurdles a family or person with a disability encounters, there are also the less noticeable ways we don’t fit in. I remember when my son was in elementary school and all the incentives and rewards students had for *anything* was candy or food related. And I get it! I remember being a first grader in Mrs. Brian’s class, working hard so I could earn a piece of candy. But then when I became the mother of a first grader who couldn’t eat food by mouth, I had to think creatively to suggest non food related reward ideas to school staff for ways to motivate my NPO son. (Stickers, pencils, technology, etc.)

Our church is in the midst of an annual goal of inviting someone to church. Part of this campaign includes inviting them to a meal following a church service. That’s a beautiful goal; I have no objection to it. But during a recent sermon focused on this goal of the importance of breaking bread with people, I couldn’t help but wonder how bored my NPO son must be sitting there, hearing about something he’ll never be able to do this side of heaven. Break bread. Share a meal. Grab a drink. Enjoy a birthday cake. Chew some gum. None of these things are feasible for his broken body. And yet, no one in the entire worship center listening to the same sermon ever had that thought enter their mind (more than likely).

And that’s what it means to be a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. Living a life that the world is not equipped or set up to handle. It’s weary and exhausting. Fighting and advocating and asking kindly for others to be considerate and inclusive to those with needs… none of this was what I thought my life would be like. I grew up as the child who wanted to be quiet and complaint and fly under the radar, to make all my teachers happy and not rock any boats. And then I became a mom…to a child with more needs than I can list here. And I began to see the world with fresh eyes. It was as if my vision had been blurry my whole life and then this baby was born and put in my charge and suddenly my vision became 20/20 – with all the good AND the bad that it brought.

Not everyone lives a life that includes an opportunity to see the world the way we parents of special needs kids see it. To recognize the disparity of the human experience. And even so, what do we do with that? If you’re in the category of only watching from afar or loving a person or family affected by a disability, thank YOU for seeing us, caring enough to learn and ask questions, noticing our needs, being willing to offer aide (meals, child care, prayers, hugs, emotional support). And if you’re in the same category as me, those of us living this [difficult] life daily, you’re doing good work caring for your child/spouse/parent. You are seen, noticed, and known by your Creator.

Tomorrow Is A New Blank Page Instagram Post

Just Today.

And if today, in whichever camp you reside in, life feels like it’s too much to bear…that you just can’t seem to make it all fit together, you’re out of sorts and you’re exhausted and weary, rest easy in Jesus, my friend. We only have to do today. Just today. What do you say we let tomorrow worry about itself? May we find rest and calm, and the perfect fit in the wide open arms of a Savior who knows us, loves us and has prepared a spot for us with Him.


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