Friday, May 3, 2013

Talking about R

An elderly mother of a special needs adult woman, told me how difficult it was living in a small community.

While she and her friends had children at the same time – their children kept growing and progressing – while her daughter stayed forever 10 years old

Then those peers had younger siblings who also grew up and passed her by.

Then those peers had children

You get the drift

I am thinking of this mother as I sit at a work event when friends and colleagues are talking about their children – the same age as R

Nobody is boasting but their world is so different than mine

Their World: Soccer, talking back, interest in the opposite sex

Our world: OT, PT, ST

I used to find these conversations uncomfortable.

I used to wonder how to participate

In the way unwillingly-single women feel around couples – (those that Bridget Jones calls the smug-marrieds.)Like their way to be is the right way to be.

But I always remembered this conversation with that elderly woman and I had sworn then that I would try to not be that way 

This was before I was the mother of an special needs child

And when I became one - I really understood what she meant - and how important it would be to not have these feelings

And so  I practiced my way out of it

They talked about their kids and I talked about mine

The more I talked, the easier it got

I talked about his oddness, his brilliance, his sweetness, his obsessions, his mama’s-boyness, his autisticness

I talked about our struggles with finding the right schools, his love of kiddie shows,

The 5 things he will eat and his passion for flashcards  

And guess what - no one seems bored.

There are no awkward silences

No looks of pity

I listen to their tales of lacrosse and they listen to my tales of Floortime

And we find things in common.

 I think it’s an important skill to have.

While the kinship we have with parents of special needs kiddos is so important, we will lose out on many important relationships if we keep ourselves away from the non-special needs world

Its not just about looking comfortable in conversations with the non-special needs world

But it also trickles down into how we feel about our life
Blessed or burdened

Grateful or resentful

"The mind is everything
What you think
You become "


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This post has been written for the wonderful Hopeful Parents Website here


Deb said...

This is so good and so true. Thank you for this reminder!!

Þorgerður said...

You are right... but we do not always know where we are going where we will be. Still it is the trip...right. enjoying the ride. living a life.

Sophie's Trains said...

I love this post so much. I have found myself in that position before where the first thing I see are Sophie's differences and you are so right, talking about our kids' uniqueness is perfectly appropriate. She is already "behind" other 3-year olds but she is a cool little gal! Your post put down how I want to feel all the time, and sometimes forget in the heat of the moment.

Bright Side of Life said...

K, what you write is so true..... as much as we love our friendships with other parents who have special needs children, we really must not forget our friendships with others who don't walk the road we walk. We have to be open about our lives and be comfortable with sharing... and be mindful about listening to their stories, even though it can be hard at times. Nice post. xx

P.S. I am going to copy you and add my Hopeful Parents post also on my personal blog!!

Flannery said...

Love this reminder of life being what we make of it and how we look at it.

Kris said...

I love having friends in both "worlds". It keeps me sane.

jazzygal said...

Glad you figured it out are able to participate and are accepted :-) This reminds me of the early days of our journey. Pre-diagnoses so no therapies, interventions etc. I was still working, part-time and so terribly worried about my now Teen Boy's behaviour, lack of language and self-limited eating habits. I bored them, they walked away and didn't want to know! I don't blame them to be honest but it was a very worrying and difficult time. I've never forgotten it...

xx Jazzy

Floortime Lite Mama said...

@ jazzy - many hugs how horrible that must be - things are so different now in the States with Autism Awareness
@ Kris Tanya Flannery Spohie's trains, Porgerour, Deb and Di - thank you so much
@Di - I think its really a great idea - actually its one of the reasons why I keep writing for HP as there are few rules - I think a lot of people esp those who have low bandwidth hate clicking links ( with good reason ) as it wastes their precious internet time

Bonsky said...

Love, love, love!

Yuji said...

Love this!

Unknown said...

I absolutely love this post. And you are so right. It's all about how you look at things. You're an incredible writer. I can feel the emotion here.

Tanya Savko said...

Brilliant post about such an important outlook to have. You are so wise, my friend. Thank you for this reminder!

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