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Friday, 19 September 2014

Friendship

Living in Holland you are reminded constantly that you are in Holland, while your friends live in Paris or Rome.

This year I've been getting out and really enjoying time with friends, putting the effort into catching up with old colleagues and booking in playdates for my big girl. Much more than I did last year. Friendships with other mothers is something that has always been a bit of a conundrum at times. It's hard to relate when their experiences of parenting are so different from ours.  Their concerns are not our concerns; their hopes are not our hopes.

I know my parenting path is different and sometimes I do grieve that the bumps and hurdles experienced by others aren’t what we experience. The parents of the other children is Imogen's social circle have their own trials and triumphs.

Triumphs
  • Making it through a whole school week without fatigue interfering
  • Remembering to give Imogen her medication 3 times a day
  • Having her dress or feed herself (ie she's not so tired she needs us to do it for her)
  • Hearing articulate sentences that explain what's going on in her head
Trials
  • Having conversations with teachers about how hard the day was
  • Waiting a year and a day for Imogen to get out of the car
  • Dealing with the stream of tears of the smallest thing
  • Having to say no to tv and movies knowing that she enjoys them so much because they are easy for her to engage with.
Talking to one of my closest friends about parenting joys/terrors as we went for an evening walk she brought up the issue of her trials not being the same as my trials. She thought hers might seem insignificant. What I felt was that there was this world going on that I knew nothing about. I didn't know what 'typical' parenting was. It’s nice to hear what ‘normal’ life is and sometimes I do feel left out because I don’t have a lot of those conversations with other parents.

It’s never insignificant. Never. Just different. I’ve learnt to accept what different is. Our reality is our normal. It’s not less, it’s not more. it just is. Better to feel grief than exclusion I think.

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