I read a post on The Mighty by Lauren Jordan, another mom blogger at Laughing Like It’s My Job…And Other Stuff. Her post on The Mighty was about her Autistic son TJ and his friend Colby. The two boys who are two pees in a pod. Her post got me thinking about own friendships, and weather or not my sons have friendships with peers at school.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t have many friends. I don’t “hang out” with other moms often, I don’t have “girls weekends” or anything like that. I have a few (say a handful) of wonderful women in my life that I spend time with periodically. My best friend is Randi. She lives in Oklahoma…while I’m here…in Michigan. Randi and I haven’t see each other since winter 2003. I remember the last time I saw her, what we talked about, I even remember that she was wearing a shirt I’d let her borrow…and I never got it back. I love Randi with all my heart. I’ve known her since I was in the 7th grade, but we didn’t become close friends until we had become wives and mothers. She’s been my best friend since 2008. We’ve kept in touch through text, Facebook, and usually, a daily phone call.
I know first hand what it’s like to be the “disabled” kid in class. To be judged, ridiculed, and bullied…just because you’re different. I have Cerebral Palsy, I limp, and just don’t care. I was lucky enough to find a friend who, in spite of my lack of normal-nesss (Because let’s be honest…I’m weird, a nerd, you might say.), loves me anyway, accepts me for the ball of weird that I am, limp and all. This is what I hope for, for my children’s friendship. I hope they find someone who will see past all the things that most people might find weird.
I am also very fortunate to have a group of online friends whom I’ve chatted with for years. While this isn’t like your “typical” friendships, where you might meet at a coffee shop, go on play dates, and attend each other’s Fourth of July BBQ’s, the friendships aren’t any less real. I have online friends that are always there when I need an ear (or a computer screen?). These group of women have aided me in my journey through my marriage, Autism diagnoses, pregnancies and births…They’ve been there through anything that Randi has been with me through, just at an instant tough of the keyboard. Online communities have really helped me to see that I’m not alone in this adventure in raising special needs children.
Knowing that you’re not going through life alone is a wonderful thing. Having someone to go through it with you is even better. I hope my kids find that person early in life, and come to know too that in friendship (and really in all relationships), it’s quality…not quantity that matters.