As Sylas K and I traipsed from house to house last night on our trick-or-treating adventure I kept bumping into readers. We shared a few chuckles as our kids, hyped up on sugar, scurried from house to house. Several people had comments about my writing and a few snuck me a quick hug before we parted ways.
The overwhelming theme of the comments I receive from readers is a gratitude for writing honestly and with humor about all aspects of our lives — including the tough stuff. While I’m thankful people appreciate my honesty I simply can’t stop myself. I’ve been the person that felt alone in my struggles too many times to continue that trend. We are not alone rather we just fail to share the truth.
So to the parents who are exhausted and haven’t slept in what feels like years — I see you. I see you struggling to help your young child. I see you wandering from doctors office to doctors office trying to figure out how to help your child.
To the mom sitting in her car alone after finally hearing a diagnosis for her child — I hear you. I hear your cries. I hear your frustration. You thought a diagnosis would make things better but in reality nothing has changed. You are tired and scared but you are not alone.
To the family that is trying to get through a meal at a restaurant or a trip through the store — I see you. I know you desperately want to participate in “normal activities” but the struggle is so very real. I know you feel judged and that people don’t understand your child’s needs. Please know it does get better. One day you will sit in a restaurant and visit with friends and your child will rock it. This may not be the day so I see you, I smile in recognition and I send you some magical voodoo through space hoping it helps you push through.
To the dad dropping his child off at the hospital for what feels like the millionth time — I hear you. I hear you recite the list of different medications you have tried, the numerous therapies. I hear the desperation in your voice, the way you plead for someone to help your baby. I also hear the pain in your voice when someone questions how you could ever hospitalize your child. Again you are not alone, unfortunately there are so many of us who have had to make the same tough decisions.
To the child, the one with special needs, that is loved so much — I see you. I see all of you. Your strength and bravery in the face of disability and a society that often misunderstands you. I see that you are perfectly and wonderfully made. I see that you make our world unique and beautiful. I’m proud of you! You try so hard every single day and I see it.
My precious readers I see you, I hear you and I’m present. I stand with you as you fight for your children and your families. You are not alone.