Today is my monthly Coffee Break group at the local community center. I have pretty much been attending these meetings for the past six years quite regularly. I’ve missed a few due to work or other family reasons, but they are important to me. Seeing the other Moms who have become some of my closest friends discuss their struggles and triumphs with their children and themselves, is always so eye-opening. It is my constant reminder to myself how important connections are, to ourselves, to our children and to others.
Michael is starting to get out more in the community now. He loves engaging with people of all ages, and as I’ve written many times, has gotten his Dad and I out of our shells socially too. Of course, we have to redirect him away from his own interests and show him how to talk to others, and he is slowly learning about feelings and emotions outside his own. He will surprise me sometimes with his compassion. Yesterday he accidentally stepped on my toe. When I said ouch, he immediately apologized and looked so sad. “I’m sorry I hurt you Mommy.” It touched me to see how deeply he is learning to care. Of course, I knew it was an accident and thanked him for caring then told him I was alright. On the other hand, there will be times, and it is almost funny, that he doesn’t get his way, and he will say, “I don’t like you. You’re not a good Mom. I like Daddy more.” He will inevitably say the same thing to Dad when he is upset with Dad. We’re learning. 🙂
I am also learning how to reach out to others, other Moms, other children, other friends outside of my support group. We are all in this life together, and we need to remember to uplift one another on our journey. Everyone has a purpose, and I believe that we all have a responsibility to help others in the world find their purpose. They also have that responsibility to us. Those that are enlightened, helping others and living their life purpose already do that naturally. Think of nurturing parents, health care providers, volunteers. All of these people give of themselves to uplift others. I know that Michael, and exceptional children like him, are here to remind all of us to do that to everyone in our life as they do that to us.
Exceptional Parents, do you connect with people around you in your family, friendship circle, work, support group? It’s so important to remember you are not alone and by reaching out you remind others that they are not alone. Parenting an exceptional child is hard work for us and it is hard for them to be parented by us. Take care of yourselves and those around you by sharing, listening and helping build connections and bridges. Until next time.
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