That’s Not Fair!

This is Mac’s new emphatic response when I tell him to do something he doesn’t want to do. Or, if I’m disciplining him for bad behavior.

The timing of this phrase expressing itself in our home is quite ironic.

Never before have I felt more like life was, “Not fair!”

Not fair for any of us.

For Mac especially I fear that life will not be fair because of his brother’s disabilities. That’s why every time I hear him say that, it’s like a shot through my heart.

Already, my attention is taken away from him for doctor appointments, therapy sessions, phone calls with case managers, and even Nathan’s feedings require more of me than a typical baby.

Then when I think about the future I quickly grow concerned how his peers will treat him when they find out his brother is different. I worry he won’t get to be a big brother for very long or the opposite, that he will need to take on the life-long role of Nathan’s caregiver.

There are a lot of things that turned out “not fair” in our giving him a sibling. We wanted him to have someone who would always be there for him so he didn’t have to be alone in the world. Now that seems to fit his description for Nathan rather than it being reciprocal.

When Nathan was diagnosed someone put me in touch with this amazing mom of four, whose oldest has special needs. When I met her I immediately started asking, “Now, what if this? What about that?” Most of my questions where about how to handle the future. I think because if I can affect or control the future in some way then maybe I can make be a little less “not fair.” She is a little more than a decade down the road from where I am but her words keep ringing in my ear:

“I prefer to look at it like an adventure and wait and see how God is going to provide. That’s the more exciting way to look at it, I think.”


Well, I certainly don’t think I’m there yet.

But I hope to be.

I’m noticing that on days when my heart is bent a little bit more in the right direction and surrendered to God’s sovereign plan – His loving, good plan – then accepting life’s unfairness becomes a bit easier for me. It puts the owness on Him to provide what I need. He becomes the source of every good thing in spite of what I think. Though all of our blessings (and crud) may differ one from another, they are suited to us, into making us more of the people He wants us to be.

So yes, life’s not fair Mac. You, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) will learn that from a very young age. My prayer for you is that when you feel that protest rising up in you, you will look to God as your provision. Perfectly able and willing to provide in abundance, where you see none.

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!


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