Life Lessons from my special-needs child

There are always life lessons to be learned if you are open to recognizing them and most importantly if you are willing to listen. My youngest is a special-needs kiddo and has been changing people’s lives, inspiring them and motivating them into being more present, to not take anything for granted and also showing the shadow side of life is too short to be miserable. When I tell people that, it becomes clear that he is my greatest teacher on how to do life.

The kid knows what he wants and he’s quite verbal about it too. He also speaks unfiltered and you can walk away feeling called out on things here and there.

Teeny tiny back story – my son went undiagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, had three liver transplants and was diagnosed with autism as a teenager. His wisdom will often leave me speechless and the insight he has about himself I worked years to have and didn’t reach that until my mid 30’s.

Life Lessons from you kids are constant!

You have to be ready at some point, so why not be ready now?

And he couldn’t be more accurate about it. The day he was diagnosed with his rare genetic disorder, I re-enrolled into college to earn my master’s degree in mental health. For years, I talked about wanting to work with foster kids and knowing how close death stared us in the face every day, it was time to stop putting it off.

And a year later, after having talked about it for longer than I’d like to admit, I finally wrote my first book and self-published it.

I am sharing this because you’re just putting it off when you could in fact just do something about it. The moment you decide to go after what you want – your dreams, goals and a life that feels good – is the moment you are ready. You can, of course, keep talking yourself out of it but why? What’s the point?

  • Start that business
  • Write that Book
  • Get healthy
  • Make art
  • Have a garden

Be ready now and stop waiting for one day.

Like anytime I hear someone complain about how shitty life is or how miserable they are. But life lessons allow you to ask yourself:

What if you get good with yourself, stop chasing what other people think you should be, do and have and start getting clear on what you want and do the work to make it happen.

The reason my son had a liver transplant is because the genetic disorder became unmanageable and it could change his life for the better. And so that’s what we did but we couldn’t fathom the fact that he’d have 3 liver transplants between the ages 5-8 and that things were really tricky for a while.

But here’s the thing, no matter how dicey things were, how painful everything was (physically or emotionally), he got up and did what he needed to do. That doesn’t mean he didn’t complain but it seemed he just knew what he needed to do in order to get home from the hospital or get back to school.

Or like now where he’s saving up for an XBOX One and he’s diligent about the chores that help him earn money. And some days are hit or miss, but he’s never quit if it’s something he wants. I think that’s an important lesson.

Don’t quit on the life you want to have.

It takes dedication, commitment, and a willingness to go against the status quo. Even if it means people don’t like you or you don’t fit in.

My kid doesn’t worry about fitting in – he cares about when he gets to play his video game or work on a drawing.

So, don’t worry about fitting in, instead figure out what you are going to do next that you want to do and of course could have an impact on your life. Worry (not really) about the important stuff. Get excited (Yes this) about it!

Choose to wake up with joy in your heart!

There aren’t many days I recall my son ever to be angry or grumpy. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t get upset, it just doesn’t stick around long enough. I think he doesn’t know how to hold a grudge of any kind because he just is filled with joy and it shows.
There’s something very genuine about it and it always reminds me that you get to choose how you feel, how you engage, express yourself.

Life lessons teach you that you have a choice!

Choose to be angry, you’ll feel miserable and wonder when life will change.
Choose to feel and be joy, life looks different filled with gratitude and like an adventure.

What will you choose?

Because every day you have a choice to stay exactly where you are or make the choice to be and do life differently. Waking up with gratitude and having thing you can be excited about will make a difference in the world. But the only thing that’s going to get you there is clarity on what you want to be, do and have and then committing to making it happen.

I can help!

Because something I know to be true, without support and having someone who has changed their life, who has taking action and has a different perspective and willing to call you out on your excuses can help you get there just a bit faster!

About the author

Petra Monaco is an artist, author, and professional problem solver for creatives, rebels, and multi-passionates.

She is here to help you remove frustration from your life and achieve your creative dreams with more ease and confidence.

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