A New Bag for Christmas

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

“What do you want for Christmas?”

That question from my family elicits the same response from me, every year: NOTHING.

I can never really think of one specific thing that I truly need for myself.

Of course, Starbucks gift cards are always treasured and appreciated, but beyond that, I honestly don’t feel like I need anything in particular.

Except for this year.  I was seriously in need of a new bag.  I’m not talking about a fancy handbag; it’s not a new COACH or a Michael Kors that I desire for carrying around my necessities.

I don’t long for an ultramodern Gucci or a glamorous Louis Vuitton purse to possess.

It’s much simpler, yet so much more complicated than that.

My youngest child is eight years old and the bag I desperately need updated is my diaper bag.

Mothers usually tote around a diaper bag for a few short years; until their child is potty-trained and they no longer need one.

They go back to cute purses as their children grow and outings no longer require diapers, sippy cups and favorite toys.

Being a mother to a child with special needs, I will need to carry one for much, much longer.

A small bag for my wallet, keys, and lipstick just will not do.

How could I fit our diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, blankets and a changing pad (for diaper changes done in the car) in that?

I’m not whining or even complaining….My daughter absolutely lights up my life and it’s my privilege to care for her.

However, the straightforward task of choosing a new bag isn’t one that I take lightly, because of her needs.

Will it neatly contain her emergency rescue seizure meds, sensory pressure vest and several crinkly toys?

Can it accommodate her daily medications, sippy cup, and bottles of Pediasure in an organized fashion?

Is the strap long enough to affix to the back of her wheelchair?  Will it fit adequately along with the portable oxygen tank (in case of a seizure) that goes everywhere with us?

These are the important traits I require in a bag.  I couldn’t care less if it matches my shoes or goes with my outfit.

My bag serves a much greater purpose than that; it has a bigger job to do.

It had been years since I bought an updated one for myself, and I know there will be many more to purchase in the years to come.

To my delight, my amazing husband surprised me with a new diaper bag this Christmas.  He did very well.

It meets all my strict criteria; it holds everything I need to attend to our daughter’s daily needs. And, I must say, it’s also pretty cute too.


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