Knowing Our Why

Knowing Our Why

There is much written these days about knowing your why. Working through it can be transformative. We are fans of Simon Sinek and his leadership book called Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team. We want you all to understand our why in Max Mix and we decided to add this blog so you can follow our journey. The plan will be regular posts about the Max Mix journey but also sharing some recipes and cooking tips. 

When you have a child with special needs, you join a really special club and for us our thinking about everything changed almost overnight. 

From the day Max was born, we have been driven to provide the best experiences and outcomes for Max. We pressed for the best school opportunities, helping write IEPs, employing tutors, joining groups, serving on boards, raising money, demanding inclusion, advocating (the nice word for fighting) for services. We were driven by fear that he wouldn’t have friends, fearful he wouldn’t learn to read or write and fearful he would not have the happy, purposeful, independent life that we dream of for all of our kids. One of our biggest fears has been how do we provide all of that for Max not only now but also understanding the reality that there will be a time when we aren’t actually here to help him and provide for him. Most people save for a nice retirement and hope that maybe they can leave a little something to their kids. We realized we need to think much further out. We needed to think about how to provide for Max not just for our lifetime but for all of his as well. 

Candidly, in our Down syndrome community and really throughout the Special Needs community we exist in the best times in the existence of the world and this is especially true for birth to 21. We have more acceptance, more inclusion and programs that are basically legally protected until they finish in the public school system. Max has truly been blessed to have amazing people in his life and some incredible, authentic friends who love and support him. 

Over the past 2 years as Max has been working through his transition from high school to adult life, we like many families are really left trying to solve some difficult challenges. How do we plan for this adult phase of life that not only works for Max but works for us as well? He has had job training and even had some good work experiences. Finding meaningful employment, work that is not at sub-minimum wage, work that he really is passionate about is a huge challenge for this community and even if you find that work things like transportation are significant obstacles. After all, Pam and I still work and have demanding careers and Maggy is rightfully finding her own career path. 

Max has been outspoken about his dreams. He wants to go to college. He wants to live on his own and he needs to have work that is meaningful to him. When he was younger, he told us he wanted to have a food truck and we thought that seemed like a cool idea and what that told us was that he definitely had an entrepreneurial spark in him. 

Let me tell you, this isn’t about a side hustle. We have plenty to do and plenty of fulfillment in our own careers. In working through meeting Max’s long-term needs, knowing his best skills, understanding the relationship between Max and his sister Maggy and wanting her to be involved, we developed Max Mix starting with the end in mind. Max Mix is his chance at all of this and hopefully more. 

Our why is to give Max the best chance to live his dreams starting today and that can grow with him and continue to help him live that dream long into the future……even after we aren’t here to help. We are dreaming big. We are ambitious that Max Mix can provide this for Max but hopefully grow to where we can provide meaningful employment opportunities to others like Max. 

We want to invite you to join us on the journey. So, as we’ve started to say…. Max it!

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