A Special Needs Prayer: Just a Bit Longer

For parents of kids with complex medical needs, their prayer is often the same plea children make when it's time to leave the park or pool. Please, please just a bit longer?
The special needs prayer of one parent may be different from the prayer of others. But for parents raising kids with complex medical problems, their prayer is similar to the request their children make when it’s time to leave the park or the pool or other play. Please, please. Just a bit longer?  Guest blogger Stephanie Husted explores that prayer in this poem.

A Special Needs Prayer: Just a Bit Longer

A picture perfect summer day
Spent playing at the park.
Soon it’s time to head on home,
It’s starting to get dark.
And so, I yell, “It’s time to go,”
(My child starts to cry.)
He looks at me with pleading eyes,
And then he asks me, “Why?”
Of all the answers in my mind,
None seems quite adequate.
I prepare for what I know will come:
A full blown crying fit.

He throws himself onto the ground,
Forgetting Mommy’s much stronger.
I lift him up into my arms.
He wails, “I wanna stay longer!”
And ask we walk on toward the car
He says, “Oh, Mommy, please?”
I say, “I’m sorry, sweetheart,”
Then give his hand a squeeze.
Strapped in his car seat,
We’re leaving the part of the day.
He’s giving me that petulant look
That says, “Why can’t I have my way?”

And as I’m driving homeward,
I think, “Imagine that!
I can be tough after all.
I have this drill down pat.
My child wants what he wants now.
He does not like to wait.
I see this trait within myself.
I can indeed relate.
He thinks that he will change my mind
With loud, persuasive tears.
And yet, this seems to be the way
That I bring God my fears.

In the moment…

I watched him swimming in the pool,
All giggles, kicks, and splashes.
And i could see my life with him,
A thousand tiny flashes.
And when we read his favorite book,
He turned each page with care.
I thought about my hopes for him,
While knowing life’s not fare.
He wrapped his arms around my neck,
Lips puckered for a kis.
I know I’d give all I have
For more times just like this.

He may not always be with me;
Life isn’t always kind.
Then I will have just memories
Etched in the depths of my mind.
“Take things one day at a time,”
Someone once said to me.
But I would give most anything
To just have…certainty.

And as we walked along the beach,
His tiny hand in mine,
I thought, “I love these moments
When everything is fine.”
He plops onto the sandy shore
And scoops a handful of sand.
Somehow I know God’s watching
This life he so carefully planned.
I know there are no guarantees
Of what tomorrow holds,
But I am filled with gratitude
As each new day unfolds.

These moments make it all so clear.
And no, I’m not wise or stronger.
I am just God’s child myself
Always asking, “Please just a bit longer?”

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For parents of kids with complex medical needs, their prayer is often the same plea children make when it's time to leave the park or pool. Please, please just a bit longer?

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.

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