"Don't you get ahead of me
and I won't leave you behind.
By my side. By my side.
Won't you be by my side?"
Sometimes having a kid with special needs is really isolating. Some people just don't get it. It's even more isolating when those some people are those whose support you just really really need. I guess that makes things extra super duper tough. So yesterday was one of those days. Little Bird hadn't slept much the night before and was overtired (we both were) and she was acting really symptomatic. I was really struggling. I spent a few moments alone getting teary and thinking 'I wish I could be with another mommy who gets it.' Of course no matter where I am, I am always mid-conversation with Lisa (I even had to increase my text allowances because of our nonstop chats!); but in this moment, I needed to be around another one of "us".
We took Little Bird to a park and I put her headphones on to do some therapeutic listening while pushing her on the swing. Yes, it looks a little different for a kid to be on the swing-set with headphones. But, there were 2 or 3 moms at the park who gave us funny looks. One came close enough to get a good look at Little Bird's Vital Sounds Tune Belt (it's like a fanny pack for her CD player). Of course it made me feel uncomfortable, but the truth is, this is what's best for my kid and that's all that matters.
So there we are when a woman comes over and helps her little girl onto the swing next to Little Bird and she says, "wow, I've never seen anyone else use Vital Sounds. We use those too. My son is Autistic." OMG, right?! So, we spent some time talking about our experiences and the things we've tried: therapies, diet, supplements, etc. She told me she lives in San Diego, so I got to gush about my favorite Developmental Pediatrician in the universe who recently left University of Michigan for Children's Hospital of SD. She invited me to stay with her when I'm ready to go to San Diego to see Dr. Gahagan.
A little later on, a friend of mine and fellow Warrior Mom posted on Facebook that she was having a hard day. Another mom who is on the other side replied with kind, loving, encouraging words. She is one of "us". An instant friend. I can't wait to meet her, commiserate, and gain strength from her hope. There certainly are a lot of us Warrior Mommies out there, fighting hard for our kiddos, advocating on their behalf, and never ever giving up.
As we left the park, my mom turned to me and asked, "what are the odds that we'd meet another mom with a child with Autism?!" I looked at her and I replied, "1 in 150."