A few years ago a song came on the radio that took me back to my high school years. The familiar tune was one I knew well, but the lyrics caught me off guard. They matched my current mood and life situation; “I walk this lonely road, the only one that I have ever known. Don’t know where it goes, but it’s only me, and I walk alone. I walk this empty street on the boulevard of broken dreams where the city sleeps and I’m the only one, and I walk alone.”
I pulled the car into the garage and ran inside the house to find Danny. I couldn’t contain my excitement when I told him I’d found our theme song on the radio!
Many of you will understand what I’m talking about without any context or history. Being the parent of a special needs child can be extremely isolating. We sometimes walk a very lonely road.
Danny and I were deeply moved (as were many others) by Amy’s post about the isolation of the special needs parent.
There is nothing better than meeting a fellow parent from my son’s school who is in the trenches with me. Over lunch, we chat about the types of medications that are currently working (or not) for our kids. We cry over the hardships we never knew existed. We laugh about the awkward situations we find ourselves in… “you mean your child ran down the street fully nude as well?!”… and we celebrate the triumphs and the joy that our children bring us.
Our hope and prayer is that you can come to this website for similar validation and empathy.
Several years ago, I found myself struggling to check my son into a special needs summer day camp. To say he was having a rough morning would be putting it lightly. After I watched him run down the hallway with his sweet counselors in close pursuit, I booked it to the doors so that nobody would see my tears when they came. A fellow mom chased me down and shouted “hey, I NEED to tell you something!” I grudgingly turned around, half expecting a lecture on my child’s attention seeking behavior. “I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone, and you are doing a great job.” This was followed up with a huge hug. The tears still came, but they were not the tears of frustration and sadness that I was expecting. This was the only thing that I needed to hear that morning, and that mom knew it.
You are NOT alone and you are doing a great job. If we could give you a huge hug we would. If you feel like your dreams have taken a back seat to your chaotic life, we understand. We also hope that your road will often take the path of the scenic overlook route and you will be able to see the beauty all around you. There are many unexpected blessings that come as a result of this bumpy road. If you pay attention, you don’t have to look very far.