Michael has been having a challenging two weeks. There have been control issues, worries about the future, and general testing all around from his end. It has been interspersed with wonderful, kind and funny moments, but there have unfortunately been more tough times for him (and me), than not lately. He is also experiencing some tooth pain, another baby tooth about to come out, so that’s not helping. The other day was another tough day for Michael, but what was different about it was that I sort of snapped inside too. As is common with a lot of Exceptional Moms, when the kiddos aren’t doing well we tend to go on high alert and taking care of ourselves is the last thing we think of. The other evening when the house after twas quiet after Michael and Dad were asleep, I finished the dishes and sat down on the couch and cried my heart out. I felt so alone and disconnected. Due to Dad’s crazy work schedule, friends being busy as well as me with work and family, I hadn’t talked to anyone in a awhile. I prayed to God to give me strength to see the blessings and to remember that the bad days would pass and good were coming. I also started thinking about some fun ‘me’ time things I would start doing. I would begin to fill the well up again, so I wouldn’t crash like I did that night again this summer.
The next morning I got up. It was another rocky start and I felt discouraged at first, but then I remembered my words to myself. I even had a talk with Michael about the glass being half-full or half -empty. That afternoon I had promised him after camp we would go to swim at another public pool close to our house. Unfortunately when we got there, the pool was going to close shortly for a Swim Meet. Michael handled this change well, and I offered him another public pool where we used to go. He quickly accepted and off we went. Within seconds of arriving there we settled in at one of the picnic tables. In front of us was a Mom on a lounging chair and her two children sitting on their towels. All were having a snack as it was adult swim and kids couldn’t go in. Michael commented about the little boy licking his fingers after finishing his chips. This is something I have told him is not polite to do so he asked me. I had one of those embarrassing Mom moments where I had to remind him to mind his own business.
The next thing I know the Mom turns to me and comments how hard it is for hers to wait for adult swim to be over. And thus, a conversation and friendship began! We chatted, her children shared some food with Michael. I offered to buy something back for them she refused. We began to continue talking after the lifeguard blew the whistle that adult swim was over. It turned out her son was very good with kids who have autism. She suspected it was because he has ADHD and OCD, and could relate to kids with different ways of seeing the world. Her daughter, though neuro typical, was an emotional child and strong willed she explained. I laughed and said that described Michael too. He is definitively strong willed. We spoke about schools, children and life as Moms whose kids are different. She mentioned getting them together for a play date if I wanted. We exchanged phone numbers. I really do hope we get together, but I have to say that this act of kindness by a stranger on a very tough day and week for me, really reminded me of what is important. I saw how God was at work altering our plans so this lady and I could meet. I thanked the Universe that day for changing our plans.
Exceptional Parents, when have your plans changed and it ended up being for the better? What did it teach you and your Exceptional Children? Remind yourself and your kids of all you have to gain when you open yourself up to the universe’s possibilities. This is how you and your child will truly grow into happier more balanced people. Until next time.