Saturday, January 14, 2012

One lucky family...

Thank you to the ladies (+ one incredible man) who get me through the sometimes disaster that is my life…

The “old school gang”

If they were drinks they would be called the Chops, the Butler, the Buckwalter, the Cornmeal and the Walker.   The friends who know you best because they have seen you at your worst, they have seen you at your most vulnerable moments, the memories that are foggy but the ones you hold on to because they are you as your younger self.  These are the ladies that make or break you if you run for political office because they know all of your “stories”, you know the ones, the stories that you don’t really want anybody to know.   They are also the friends that will love you forever; the friends who you don’t see for years but when you do get together you pick up exactly where you left off.   These are the friends that you call as soon as you learn that your child has autism.  They don’t really know what to say but they love you anyway.  

The inspiration

The Autism Mamma, the Warrior Mother. There are actually MANY autism moms that inspire me but there is one that inspires me most, and her name is fittingly Hope.  When you have a child with autism there is a certain comfort in seeking out other parents who are going through what you are going through.  I have been so lucky to find and connect with someone who understands, who gets it and who motivates me to move beyond my situation and turn it into good for others.  I have been so lucky to be involved with a non-profit started by my fabulous friend called Ella’s Hope.  Raising awareness, raising funds and being involved in an annual walk for autism that gives back to our local community.  I am inspired to be the kind of mother that she is and consistently exhilarated to be an advocate for all individuals on the spectrum.  

The fun-loving soul mate

The friend who oddly enough loves everything that you love to the point that it is eerie.  For me it is Janice.  We did not meet until I was 37.  Similar professions, love of movies, board games and politics.  The friend who you could talk to for hours upon hours and not even realize that that much time has gone by.  The friend who you go to movies or dinner with and have such a great time that you don’t even remember the data sheets, schedule or social story you need to finish at home.  The friend who allows you to have fun and feel fabulous about it without any guilt what-so-ever.  The friend who provides you with the peace of mind you need to feel okay while stepping outside of your life if only for a moment.  

The Best Friend 

For me, the Amoo.  The one (like your old-school friends) who knows you best but in a completely different grown-up way.   The one who knows what you need at all times without even asking.  The one who tells you the truth even when it is the last thing on earth that you want to hear but she does it anyway because she knows that hearing the truth is the only thing that will get you through.  The one that you make promise to look out for your children, especially your child with autism, in the event that you are not around because you know that she will instinctively do exactly what you wanted.    The one you thank God for everyday because you love her and her friendship as much as you love yourself.  

The rock.  

The one you love because you can’t imagine living your life without him.  The one that you fight with, cry with, laugh with and try to figure out the day to day life with on the spectrum.  The one person who understands because he loves your child as much as you do even on the days that you want to give up completely.  I am so thankful everyday that I have a husband who wants what I want and who would do anything, and does to ensure your boys live up to their potential.  

I feel confident in saying that the most important thing to take care of while you are raising a child on the spectrum is maintaining your friendships.   As hard as it is most days, it is the only thing that gets you through the darkness, the worry, the guilt, and the crazy.  I am so thankful for all of our friends and supporters, those mentioned here and the many, many others who check in with us, pray for us and those who just show up for us every day.  We are one lucky family! 

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