Stephanie’s Special Needs Resolution: No More Fairy Tales

by Jan 13, 2014Self-Care and Stress, Special Needs Parenting0 comments

The Special Needs New Year's resolution series at Different Dream continues with Steph Ballard's contribution. Her resolution: to let go of fairy tales.

Welcome to Part 3 of Different Dream’s 2014 Special Needs New Year’s resolution series. True to form, guest blogger Stephanie Ballard offers her resolution as a poem. Enjoy!

                                       Fairy tales are more than true;

not because they tell us that dragons exist,

but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

~ G K Chesterton

I think if this previous year has taught me anything, it is this: Life isn’t meant to be a fairytale. (If it were, would we really learn anything of value?)  Becoming the parent to a child with both chronic health and behavioral issues has never been easy. If I were to be honest, there have been moments when I wish that things could be different. I have been known to have this idyllic idea in my mind about how life was supposed to turn out. I am certain that I never imagined financial hardships, frequent doctor’s appointments with my special needs child, or a less than perfect marriage. And then I watch as my son makes the most serious of his specialists crack an unprecedented smile in the hospital elevator. I hear him singing the words, “I am Yours,” while he’s lying in his bed thinking no one is watching, and I feel his tiny hands rubbing my hair when I’ve had a long, stressful day. He is always happy, and he loves people with a depth that I have yet to understand, or emulate.

            If I were to make a New Year’s resolution for 2014, it would be this:

Let go of the fairytale, and embrace the story being written before your eyes.

Dragons and all.

The Fairy Tale

I once asked for the fairy tale
Complete with a white horse
But life is unexpected
It takes an unknown course.

I would put on my Barbie heels
My bracelets, pearls… crown
A dash of mommy’s lipstick
My fancy most grown up gown.

And everything was magical
A place where all daydreams come true
And in this perfect “pretend” world
I always knew just what to do.

With one dash of my magic wand
My fairy Godmother would show up
But real life just isn’t that easy
And someday we all have to grow up.

And life’s responsibilities
Amidst the turmoil and laughter
Remind me to look for the small things
To find my happily ever after.

And all of my preconceived notions
About how life should have turned out
Leave me feeling overwhelmed
And just a little burned out.

I once dreamed that I was a princess
Awaiting my most noble knight
He would slay every dragon to save me
Our life would be just perfect…right?

The truth is marriage sure takes work
And it can’t be revived with one kiss
It’s a challenge to hold it together
Real life doesn’t end with such bliss.

When things get tough, I lose myself
And some days I sure find
That I am one small step away
From losing what’s left of my mind.

I got no invitation
To the Prince’s Royal Ball
The clock struck midnight way too soon
And the glass slipper won’t fit at all.

Perhaps as we get older
We need to seek anew
To find the fairy tales of life
In what we say and do.

In the laughter of our children
In the hope for a brighter tomorrow
In the silent, still small voice of God
Amidst all the heartache and sorrow.

Life has no perfect endings
Sometimes it’s hard to see
The unnoticed, everyday blessings
That mean the most to me.

And when I feel a little sad
About the things I’ve missed
I try to find the fairy tale
That does in fact exist.

It’s not the way I’d imagined
Nor what I had hoped for
But some things come into your life
To bring you so much more.

~Stephanie Ballard

What fairy tales has your special needs parenting experience caused you to release? What New Year’s resolution do you want to make? Leave a comment.

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By Stephanie Ballard

Stephanie Ballard is the mother of two sons, her youngest son, Braeden, was born with Kabuki Syndrome and congenital heart defects. Her oldest son, Colin is in the military. She enjoys writing poetry and life lessons about her journey in life.


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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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