Friday, September 7, 2012

Making Connections

As the at-home mom of two young children I'm usually excited to find a few minutes of alone time here and there.  Between the phone calls, carpools, runny noses, grocery shopping, and five thousand other things that fill my days, an uninterrupted twenty minutes feels like the jackpot - and when that free time magically appears, it is rare that I'm thoughtful enough to use it wisely.

Of late, however, I've been thinking more and more about how I really want to spend my time.  (and I mean - MY time - which, though sparse, is time that I truly have to myself, when my kiddos are otherwise engaged)  When Evelyn was itty bitty, we became connected with a wonderful group of people through the Center for the Visually Impaired.  Through our weekly gatherings we moms (and dads!) were encouraged, supported, and lasting friendships were formed.  There has been nothing before or since that I more eagerly anticipated attending on a regular basis.  Why was this time so special?  Because of the connections.

When we walked into the room, we were just people, brought together by bad news, to be honest.  Each of us was a parent or caregiver to a child with a 'diagnosis'.  Special stuff.  Challenges.  Extra needs.  However you phrase it, it was bad news.  We were there to figure out how to take this beautiful child we had, with their 'bad news', and somehow orchestrate a happy existence.  Doing it alone seemed impossible.  Doing it with a team of family and medical professionals seemed daunting.  The missing pieces?  Friends.

Think about the true friends you've had in your life.  Not the fair weather friends, not the 'frenemies', not the casual acquaintances - but the people you really share your life with.  Now, if you've been through any sort of tragedy or struggle, you might agree with my theory that in those times, you need those true friends more than ever - and that having friends who CAN RELATE to that struggle is a saving grace.  After Evelyn was born we were fortunate to have quite a few friends who drew closer to us, supported us, and continue to be very special people in our lives - but we had no friends who had any experience with what we were dealing with.  As time went on, new people came into our lives through Evelyn - doctors, therapists, and parents of children who have special needs.  Those moms and dads have been so special to us; there is a certain ease when talking to someone who has walked in your shoes - no worries about explaining gtubes or seizures, comparing notes on various pediatric specialists, a greater understanding when plans change at the last minute...

So, I was thinking about this, and about my vast (haha!) quantities of free time, and decided that, through a very special local organization (FOCUS!!!) I am going to host a monthly Share group, for moms of children with special needs.  Our group will meet at my house, and will likely have a lot of parents of medically fragile children in attendance.  Join us on Tuesday, September 25th at 10am - for coffee, baked treats, and good conversation with people who 'get it'.  :)  


Brett Nash said...

This is a great post tthanks