In this journey of parenting children with disabilities I have discovered that many of us feel alone: Does anyone understand what it is like to walk in our shoes? Could someone really understand why I feel the way I do? Am I the only one that wrestles feeling like I am not doing enough for my child? I wish there was something I could do to change this for you, for me, for all of us. I cannot. So instead, I’m reaching across this screen to let you know that at a heart level, where your thoughts live – your challenges, frustrations, and joys – you are not alone.
When you received your child’s diagnosis and cried and shook your fist at God – you are not alone.
When you look at other children with similar disabilities as your child, yet they are farther along in development and you feel like you’re not doing enough – you are not alone.
When you have to fight the school system and make sure your child’s IEP is followed – you are not alone.
When family doesn’t get it, and they dismiss your concerns or hint maybe your child’s behavior is a result of you (bad) parenting – you are not alone.
When you have been so emotionally spent that dinner is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – you are not alone.
When you feel like yelling at the next person that says, my kid does it too! – you are not alone.
When you are exhausted because of sleepless nights making sure your child is safe – you are not alone.
When it is easier to stay home than being social – you are not alone.
Even as you wrestle with the hard things, please remember that you are not alone. While we might not walk the same road and our kids might have different challenges, many of us get it, we’ve been there. We understand those feelings. You are not alone.
When you say that although days are hard, the good days help you to keep going – you are not alone.
When you child reaches that small milestone that for most of the world has gone unnoticed, yet you are bursting with pride – you are not alone.
When your family sits in the living room watching a movie and you look around and feel the love so tangible in your home – you are not alone.
When you feel so much pride for your child’s some accomplishments – you are not alone.
When you celebrate the simple words, or unstable steps, or using the potty -you are not alone.
When you feel you love your child so fiercely that you will move mountains if you have to – you are not alone.
When you say that your child who has a disability has been an agent of change in your life – you are not alone.
When you say life is good, even if the world around doesn’t understand it – you are not alone.
When you say your life is covered with love – you are not alone.
Although we might not be standing next to each other, although we might never meet face-to-face, we have these common experiences, they remind us we are not alone. So today, I am thankful for you, because I am reminded that I too am not alone.