March 15, 2023
Those Left on the Sidelines
Something that autism has gifted our family is that it has opened our eyes to another world. We get to see the lives of many people affected by disabilities.
When we are at a sporting event, camp, or conference for my son filled with children and adults of all different abilities, I see more love and acceptance than anywhere else.
I love that both my children are surrounded by it. They have seen the beauty in differences from the beginning.
At the same time, I have one foot in the typical world. Where there is also beauty but it’s harder to find.
When I’m in the typical aspect of my life, I feel like I’m running.
I feel like we’re all running in a race that no one is really winning.
While I’m running, I have a hard time looking forward to the finish line. Instead, I’m looking around to see where everyone else is in the race.
It gets me down. I’m running as hard as I can, and I only see those passing me, but I have to run.
Other times, I feel like I’m just on the sidelines watching other people run.
Sometimes I’m in the race, and sometimes I’m out.
And when I’m on the sidelines, I meet other people who aren’t in the race. I find companionship in them.
I find others who fall in and out of the race like me, but some who are rarely in.
Often watching the others run by, they have to wait to be visited on the side.
The people who are mostly on the sidelines humble me. They cheer for me. They remind me that winning the race doesn’t really matter.
I feel lucky to get to know those people.
They are the ones fighting battles. The ones who have been down and back up over and over. The have felt the greatest pain and fear, but also the greatest love and joy.
Whenever I spend time with them and then get thrown back into running. I can look around and pity the people racing so hard that they forget the reason they even started running.
Alone, sometimes it’s hard, and it hurts to be passed by, but really, I’m lucky I get to see the race for what it is.