Monday, May 6, 2013

THAT Special Needs Mom

The other day I was sitting with a woman at horse therapy. Her daughter was riding, too.  I said, "You know what I like about this therapy best over all the others? There's no homework!"

She laughed and agreed and then she began to open to me what it was like to be her.... that mom with a special needs child. Her daughter has a Sensory Integration Disorder. She struggles with sensory over-stimulation. She told about their therapies, and piano practice, school, their schedule and the balancing act of being fully mom to the 4 year old sibling, as well.

And I started to feel overwhelmed for her... because I could see how it's taken over their family and their day-to-day and over-all life. How it has taken an enormous amount of time and fortitude and persistence to make breakthroughs. How it's changed their social life because, naturally,  it has changed them.

And then I remembered;  I am THAT special needs mom, too.

She had asked about the twins and I had told her a little, but I realized at this point what she needed wasn't to hear about our crazy life ... {as in, I can one-up-you. I have two special needs kids ...} and I was digging down deep for words when we were interrupted from conversation and soon our little riders dismounted their ponies. I'll see her again Friday during therapy, but meanwhile I've been thinking a lot about what it is that we special needs moms need from each other the most.

Is it encouragement to keep plugging away that a difference will be made, by and by?
Is it to remind each other to find bits of joy in the journey & to hold that close when it's hard?
Is it the sharing of information back and forth to ease the roughness of some patches?
Is it validation that they are good moms despite behaviors they have to work through?
Is it friendship to make the journey less terrifying and solitary so they know they are not alone?

Among friends  we don't talk about the deep things much. It can get you into awkward situations if you try. Not many know how to relate or care to go there...  and it gets lonely. Quite lonely. Like living on separate planet from nearly everyone you know sometimes.

I totally get that. I guess I wouldn't have if I hadn't become that special needs mom.


Emily said...

This post makes me want to pound the table with my fist in agreement because you hit the nail right on the head. Your five "Is it" questions...I answered YES to all of them. We need ALL FIVE. I'm so thankful for you. Even though we've never met-face-to-face and we live 3000 miles apart, you're a fresh breeze wafting through my everyday stuff. I'm glad for your friendship.

Kelly said...

I'm glad she has you because I have no doubt that you will be exactly what she needs, no matter what that is. You rock!!