Meeting that someone…

Today after I dropped my daughter off for camp, I stood around and chatted with some other moms. We spoke of our kids, our life, our normal. It got me thinking about support.

That feeling you get when you meet another person who knows what you go through. It is a revelation, wow, she gets me, she lives my life. It is such a relief to know you are not the only one out there. That you are not crazy for the way you feel or behave with your special little one.

It is a life changer to be talking to another mother and not have to smile when they compare their hardships to yours, because it really can be compared. I always try and be supportive to my non special needs mom friends , because everyone, and I mean everyone, has hardships and difficulty, but there is something freeing about talking about my problems with someone who lives in my shoes.

We are in a life that can be isolating. When friends ask what is going on with me, there is that moment of hesitation while I weigh telling them “fine” or really let them in. It is a heavy life and I have had experiences of letting people in to either see their eyes glass over or get a ” oh that’s rough, guess what happened to me?” . True empathy is rare and we are all so different that we all need different support. I don’t expect anything from anyone , but I am careful about who I let in, because it can lead to resentment. Resentment kills relationships, so I just realign what kind of support I can expect from different people.

That is why is so amazing to have mama friends in the same normal that I am in. I don’t have to watch my words or expectations and more often than not my expectations are exceeded.  From them I gather strength, love and acceptance.  We are a resource to one another, helping to give the best to our children. I am very lucky to have quite a few mamas I can rely on to call or write to in a tough time. Although we live far from one another , we are sisters in arms. For that I am grateful.

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Feelings, Emotions and Logic

Wawoo just started a 3 week developmental summer camp. It is amazing and she loves it. I love seeing her work hard and developing skills to help her become independent.

The only downside is seeing that she is the most severely disabled child there. All the other kids have better body control and are more independent than she is. Logically, I know that each child is different. I know there are no comparisons when it comes to disability. I know each child’s situation has pros and cons.

I know all these things, but my heart is not on the same page.

My heart is a tender little thing, it sees what my child could be, where we are working towards, but aren’t yet. It sees these other children communicating with their parents. It sees them walking in their  walkers on their own or with minimal help.

It sees all this and it tightens with pain.

Big sweeping waves of pain, of wondering if you are doing something wrong or not enough. Guilt and doubt are never very far away in the land of special needs parenting or perhaps parenting in general.

Luckily, it’s just me who is feeling this. Wawoo is smiling brightly at all her new friends and laughing and crying with them as they all push their little bodies to the best of their abilities.  She reminds me to feel what I feel,but then to let it go. To hold onto the joy of her getting what she needs, surrounded by people who encourage and love her.

This is a lesson for life itself. Do your best and see the best in everything you do.