When a girl is little, most of us will have a dream of a man with no face and no name, a man who will sweep us off our feet. A white wedding, and a happy ever after with the requisite sprog output. Bad things will happen but to other people, and the rest of our future will stretch before us, unknown but secure. The end.
Our dreams may vary as we develop an awareness of equality, but the happy ever after bit, and the security, that doesn’t change.
Maybe it is the first step to growing up when we realise that we are “other people” too, and that bad stuff can indeed happen to us.
For starters, our children aren’t born perfect. Not all of them. They make look perfect but have little personal quirks that develop over time, until you have to face the fact that .. yes.. you do have an autistic child.
Then you find that not all of us gets a future at all. Some of us get dealt the joker in our hand, and our happy ever after stops before we hit middle age. Before adulthood, even.
What is strange to discover – and it can take years for you to realise this – is that even without the security and the guaranteed future, your unexpected life can still lead to a happy ever now.
Who’d have thought that I could live with a part of my life missing - not only live, but live and be happy? Who’d have thought that I would find joy in my “disabled” child? And yet every day I find reason to laugh and to thank God for the blessings I have in my life.
Unexpected, maybe. Beautiful still, definitely.