Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Strange connections.

This whole 'disability' world... it's a funny thing, I've discovered.

All of us moms of kids with varying disabilities face different challenges. Behaviors, learning issues, physical issues... our roads are so different.

I often think to myself, "I can't imagine dealing with that... what an amazing mother." Not in a trite way, or to downplay my own child's issues. It's just completely different, and I cannot imagine it, literally. I try to picture putting on different 'shoes' - how it would feel, being in their place. Our lives, from the inside, are nothing alike, aside from loving our children and doing anything for them. Then again, that's not so different from any other parents. We all are capable (and all my friends do) love their children in the 'no matter what happens' way.

Where the connection with other moms facing caring for a child with a disability comes is in the external way. How people view us. Judge us. View and judge our children. The issues we deal with - educationally, medically, emotionally (for us)... while they differ, they are greater than that of 'typical' families.

This random thought (and it is totally random) came to me as I was in the carpool line at Audrey's school a few days ago. The line winds through the parking lot in single file, sort of making a 'P' shape.

I saw a van go to the left of all the cars, passing them by, breaking the 'single file' rule.

I saw mothers (I don't see dads in cars usually) roll their eyes, I saw their mouths move angrily, I saw angry stares.

In other cases, I might have been angry, too. But I knew. Because I pass all the cars when I go pick up JT from his 'special class'.

She passed the cars, and instead of turning at the 'P', she headed straight. To the 'severe disability' class. All the children in that class are wheelchair-bound, severely mentally and physically affected.

I shed a tear as I saw how happy this mother was to pick up her child from the smiling teacher/aide, lovingly lift her from her chair, and buckle her in. She loaded the wheelchair (struggling), and got back in the car with her daughter and another infant.

I hoped, in my mind, that the other mothers felt terribly guilty watching this mother. Just like I hope that when I see them do the same thing as I pick up JT, sometimes struggling to drag him to the car, sometimes screeching, flapping, repeating things over and over.

I don't know if she saw, but I smiled as she passed me. It may not be a 'preferred' club, but as long as I'm around, I'm showing support for my fellow sisters.

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