A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a old friend that I haven’t seen in a while. She was telling me that she was concerned about her son and that she had just received confirmation from her insurance company that it was “okay” to make an appointment with the leading children’s hospital near her home for an evaluation.
I felt for her. I really did.
Not too long ago, I was in her shoes, and it sucked not knowing what to expect. I told her that when I was in her position, I was still in the “why me” phase (sigh). If I knew then, what I know now, I would have realized that it wasn’t really about me. It was about my son. It was never about me… accept for what I figured other people thought about why I couldn’t control my child when he melted down in public, or why his tantrums had such rage behind them.
I felt judged.
So I told my friend that when she needed someone to lean on, I would would always be there for her. Because thats what we do. Special needs parents lean on each other, it’s as simple as that! We are a special and growing bunch that only needs a single look, touch, or sigh to know that one of our own needs us.
What I neglected to to tell her, is that she will forever be changed… on the inside and outside. She will always and forever feel a heightened sense of awareness for her child, especially when her son reaches a goal that typical children reach far sooner. She will become a more sensitive person than she already is. She will rediscover her roots from her past and use her own experience to make better decisions for her and her son. And, finally, she will find out who her true and real friends are. It’s a sad truth, but unfortunately it will happen. It happened to me and many others I know, but she will get through it. Just like myself and many other before me.
So, while she waits the typical six months for her son’s appointment, and fills out endless mounds of paperwork, she will know that her son is still the same ray of sunshine that he was the day before, and the day after that. She will know that snide comments come and go, but honest and true friendship will last forever, and she will know that when her son reaches a milestone or a goal, it’ll feel like the world is not caving in on her, but quite the opposite. Her world will explode with such joy and love for her child that she’ll want to shout it from the roof tops.
Heck, we all do… don’t we?