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Saturday, May 3, 2014

My New Framily

I'm trying to balance things this week, but I'm not sure I'm succeeding. Alex is out of town for the next few days. Jonah was sick for a day and a half. Ben was sick for two days. Ella finished her antibiotics for her double ear infection and near-pneumonia, and then she said her ear hurt. So during the time I had planned to put away the mountain of laundry in my bedroom yesterday, we raced to the doctor instead. Sure enough, she still has a nasty ear infection. 


Not to mention the end of the year preschool picnic, 10 therapies, stops at Walgreens for various medications for everyone's ailments, and the trips to school to pick up forgotten items and sick boys. I think I could have driven to Colorado and back for all the driving I've done this week.

I'm still trying to figure things out with Ben's school regarding his teacher's bullying. I don't know where this will all end up, but I know I'm really mad. Stress.

This week did have a nice ending. I officially have a new Framily. You know, friends that you feel are like family? I've started to get involved with a Tourette's Support group, and I was invited to dinner with some moms whose children have Tourette's Syndrome. I am such a proponent of letting other moms know they are not alone in their struggles, but until I sat down around that table with those other Mamas who know just exactly what my family is like, I didn't realize that I have felt alone too. I listened to the other moms talk about their kids, their struggles, their successes and joys. I could identify with all of it, and it was all familiar. I started talking about what has happened to Ben this week at school, and of course I'm such a dork, I started crying. (Not sobbing at least, so a little dignity was spared.) The moms said they have all cried about all these things too. They were so warm and welcoming and hilarious and amazing, I have deep respect for all of them and gratitude for letting me join their circle of understanding. 

I have realized over the past couple weeks that I am very strong when I feel alone. There are times when I feel not weak, but vulnerable, and I hate hate hate that feeling. Because every time I feel vulnerable, I feel the tears in my throat. I feel like my coat of armor may have a crack in it, and if there is a teeny crack, it all might crumble. I might fall apart and not be able to stand up strong again. I hate feeling vulnerable. But there are some times when I just feel it and can't shake it. Church is one of those places. My therapist's office is another place, but that is the one place I don't mind feeling vulnerable. And when I see friends, or should I say Framily, who know exactly what my life is like. Darn tears. I hate you tears. 

I know it's fine to be vulnerable. It's good. Healthy, even. Blah blah blah. The social worker in me knows all that. But the Mama in me is trying to just keep fighting all the fights I have to fight. I'm trying to give every child what they need to be healthy and happy. I'm trying to keep ear infections at bay and keep teachers from crushing my children's spirits. I'm trying to help kiddos learn to sleep, and eat more than Cheerios and vanilla yogurt, and brush their teeth more than once a month. I'm just trying to put that mountain of clean laundry away for crying out loud!! And if my armor cracks and crumbles and I feel vulnerable, I'm afraid I won't be able to do anything I need to do to keep this family on track with living and growing and thriving. 

I'm trying to feel comfortable with my vulnerability, to sit with it and be present in it. I'm trying to show myself that I can feel vulnerable at dinner with my amazing new Framily, and still get up the next morning and put out fires all day long with gusto. I'm trying to explore how maybe feeling vulnerable with people who really understand me can actually give me strength. I know there are people who get me and support me and are in this special needs life with me. And that does give me strength. It's like super glue for my cracked armor.

I am so grateful for all my Framily, new and old, real family and real friends, for supporting me. Keep stuffing that glue in my cracked armor so I don't fall apart, ok? If I can keep my armor together maybe I'll even get to that mountain of laundry today…

And maybe, just maybe, after a lot of practice, I'll learn someday that being vulnerable is ok.

1 comment:

Jennifer Hughes said...

The Sensory Spectrum is hosting a special blog hop of posts from bloggers in June and we'd love to have you participate! Just imagine a list of bloggers sharing their stories about what it’s like to have sensory challenges and what it means to have a sensory kiddo! Read more here:

Joining in on this blog hop will undoubtedly get your blog more exposure as people will hop from one blog to the next to read the stories. I will also be tweeting everyone's stories during the month and highlighting some on my Facebook page.

I hope you'll join us!
Jennifer @ The Sensory Spectrum
(and you can find me @ The Jenny Evolution, too!)