Since becoming a special needs parent I have definitely felt an extra dose of pressure from the world around me – no doubt about it. Family may not be supportive or “get it”, once good friends may conveniently “move on”, strangers may glare and stare. The world isn’t just a rough place to navigate for my kids, but for me!
Inside the house, life isn’t a piece of cake either. Unfortunately, most mornings start with arguments and defiance, hyperactivity or crying from loud noises. And that’s just coming from me! (insert laugh track here) I don’t intend to sound so doom-and-gloom but there is no way around it, this is a tough life we’re living!
At times I find myself internally toughening up. Just put your head down, Josie, and forge through with what needs to be done. That mindset can be helpful and I’m convinced even healthy at times, but if I linger there too long it causes me to forget that I have to look back up to find the beauty in life, too.
There is real, pure, honest-to-goodness beauty everywhere.
Sure there may be those friends who move on when the going gets rough, but the ones who stay are freaking amazing. Most of the time I hold them close –letting me feel secure and supported, but keeping me from truly looking at them. Sometimes I need to hold them out and see the light they bring to my life. It is beautiful; they are beautiful. They are unique and giving and gracious in their own right. I am so happy and lucky and blessed to have them in my life.
There are good people out there – people that don’t have to understand, but want to with all their might. Maybe they don’t say the right thing, or maybe it’s unintentionally insensitive, but they are trying. They’re not frightened off by special needs and they’re still there, wanting and wishing the best for our kids.
When I’m in a nose-to-the-grindstone zone, I may notice that strangers and “the public” abound with jerks. I notice it because it’s true, unfortunately, but also because they’re LOUD. Sure a dab of special needs education will do them good and if it makes me feel better, by all means I might say something, but the “jerks” of the world many times are perfectly happy sitting where they sit – being jerks. It’s what they do. Don’t waste too much energy on them. I try to remember these words:
When I’m truly trying to find beauty, I find the public angels. They’re there, too, trust me. They are quietly going about their work, but they’re damn good at what they do. I once was brought to tears from a simple genuine smile. (It had been a bad day.) Another time, someone saw my hands were full with the kids and she let me go in front of her in line. It is a simple moment, sure, but in this busy, fast world, it is a sacrifice. It is beautiful and so, so important.
Having a place, when I have the time or am feeling down, where I can click, read and feel understood, inspired, and supported from a few paragraphs is a thing of beauty. (Thank you, SPDNetwork!)
Note to Self: Hunkering down accomplishes a lot! All I’m saying is just don’t forget to look up!