* * *
The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round, ‘round and ‘round…
Can you guess I’m the mother of preschoolers?
I’m writing this from a bumpy bus seat on Interstate 80. I’m surrounded by tired, but satisfied Rockstars, their parents and Burke staff. It’s raining and the temperatures are dropping as we get closer to Nebraska.
Some kids are laughing and dancing in their seats to the movie Rio. Daniel and Adam are still sporting their Cubs’ eye black stickers, while Brandon watches the scenery pass him from his window seat.
Two mothers are deeply engaged in conversation about their Rockstar children. I’m quietly listening to them share their unique journeys from premature labor, to NICU’s to the daily schedules of caring for teenage children with special needs. I’m in awe of these parents, all of them.
It’s easy for me to complain about the day to day busyness and exhaustion of being a stay-at-home. My days pale in comparison to the lives these parents lead. I deal with spilled drinks, sticky faces, and cheerios on my van floor. These parents are lifting their children in and out of wheelchairs, changing undergarments, managing medications, feeding tubes, and under the constant concern of spontaneous medical concerns.
Some parents are doing it together with a spouse, some are doing it alone. I’m hopeful this trip has provided them an opportunity to network, compare notes, and have some fun. What they could really use is a parents only trip- a time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. If you’ve been following our story and know someone caring for a person with special needs, I encourage you to reach out to them – offer them an afternoon off, take them a ready-to-bake meal or drop by with a fancy cup of coffee and a listening ear.
The Rockstars have changed my life. I’m a better mother, daughter, friend, wife, and more patient person because of the Rockstars. Their enthusiasm for life and adventure inspires me to find joy, even in the mundane. Their enduring smiles seemingly adjust any negativity I might be harboring.
It’s been a true honor to travel with the Rockstars and share their story. We are so grateful for the financial support, generosity of strangers, and overwhelming encouragement and interest in our success.
The Rockstars have lots of matching group shirts. One of these shirts has this printed on the back: “I don’t need easy, I just need possible.”
You made it possible and we made it happen. We came, we conquered, we impacted Chicago in ways too numerous to list here. Job well done Rockstars, job well done.
* * *