The special mother

God mentions a name to an angel and says with a smile:
"I'm going to give her a handicapped child".

The angel is curious: "Why her Lord? She's so happy."

"That's exactly why," says God and laughs. "How could I give a handicapped child to a mother who doesn't know how to laugh? That would be terrible."

"But does she have enough patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to be too patient because it would end up with her drowning in an ocean of self-pity and despair. Once she's got over the initial shock and anger she'll handle it brilliantly. I watched her today. She's got that sense of self-reliance and independence which is so necessary but rare in mothers. You have to understand: the child I'm going to give her will live in its own world. And she will have to force it to live in hers – that won't be easy."

"But Lord, as far as I know she doesn't even believe in you."

God smiles.
"That doesn't matter, I'll take care of that. No, she's just perfect for the job. She's selfish enough."

The angel can't believe his ears. "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods.
"If she can't have a break from the child every now and then she won't be able to handle the situation at all. This is the woman I'm going to give the gift of a not quite perfect child. She doesn't know it yet but she's to be envied. She will never consider a single word her child speaks as a matter of course. Never see a step as run-of-the-mill. The first time her child says Mummy she will know she's experiencing a miracle. When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child she'll see them in a way that very few people have ever done. I will allow her to recognise everything as clearly as I do – uncertainty, cruelty, prejudice – and I will allow her to rise above them all. She will never be alone. I will be with her every day of her life, every single minute because she will be doing my work as surely as if she were right here with me."

"And who will be her guardian angel?" asked the angel puffing up his chest.

And God smiles.
"A mirror will do just fine."

From "Vier Hände und ein Herz voll Liebe" (Four hands and a heart full of love) by Erma Bombeck.