My niece got married this weekend, I’m incredibly happy for her and her wife; although I couldn’t be there the ceremony looked amazing (thank you Facebook). It got me to thinking about my son – would he ever date, much less marry? Do I want him to? I think this is a question many of us as parents ask (even if we don’t say it out loud or share it with others).
I want my son to be happy, in whatever form this takes – but I have deep concerns about him being taken advantage of. How would we know, should he find a partner, if this person really cares or not. While perhaps this would be a concern if my son didn’t have disabilities, I’m not so sure the fear would be as great as it is (I don’t have any children without disabilities).
I see more opportunities for those with disabilities to learn about their sexuality and dating, and this makes me happy – because in my opinion everybody deserves to be loved by someone besides family. Yet I feel like a hypocrite, because I catch myself thinking “my son could never be emotionally ready for this”. Never is a long time, and my son has overcome a LOT since his mom died. Yes, in many ways he is still childlike, but whose to say in 10 – 15 more years he won’t come into his own emotionally?
I don’t have answers today, just questions. Thankfully there are examples of individuals with disabilities who have fulfilling relationships, so I believe it’s possible (even if I have difficulty picturing it for my son). For now I can only promise him, and myself, that I will leave this door open – should he come across someone he wants to start dating I will be as supportive as possible. I guess that’s all any of us can do for our children, whether they have disabilities or not.