One of my closest friends is pursuing a diagnosis for her youngest that may be rather serious. Or at least the name conjures up scary feelings. If she had told me this a year ago, I can picture myself with lots of "oh my gosh, are you okay, i'm so sorry" hand-wringing. But when she started telling me about it weeks ago, I was not wringing my hands. I felt bad for her, but I did not sit around cringing and fretting. I asked what specialists she was seeing, what therapies they were recommending; we talked about the county early intervention program. Instead of making her dinner, I made her a binder to use for all the paperwork coming her way.
I did not think twice about that conversation at the time, but rather was reflecting over the weekend and as our conversations replayed in my mind, I thought about how strange a place I am in now. This place of "oh okay, something is up with your kid. let's talk about all the things", not "oh no, what to do? where to go? how to deal?" Because these things just do not seem so big and hard to handle any more. The schedule juggling and finding sitters for kids to commute downtown to spend the day at Children's. The waiting for results. And the scheduling of all the appointments. All of that is stressful, sure, but not really because they are things you can do - you can see this specialist, do that therapy, and there is always something on your schedule, something you do for this awesome kid in your life. And knowing that you are doing all the things makes it easier to deal with; the unknowns, the what elses - those are the hard things.
I certainly do worry about her and ask how she is doing. But, I know, and I get it, and I can empathize. This is my life. This is her life. This is the life of a mother with a special needs kid.
While discussing the craziness of how both our kids need these services, she said to me "You would be my person to talk to through all of this, and you are going through it too, you get me. And I feel so blessed that I can go through this with you." It is sick and bizarre to think you feel glad your friend is going through this, but so awesomely amazing to know that your person totally gets this.
Thanks for listening!