November 21, 2014

Sharing Shoes

Empathy -

it is powerful.

Special moms -

they are beautiful.

And, they have empathy - which makes them powerful and beautiful.

I meet new special moms everywhere, nearly every day.  I connect with them at the grocery store, in the parking lot, at the doctor's office, through friends, in line at the ice cream stand, at the park, and on vacation.  We have a way of spotting each other in a crowd.  We become instant friends and exchange a hug at parting like we are old friends.  I also appreciate the ones that connect with me through this blog!

I have a space close to the center of my heart that is filled with love for my special mom friends.  There are many that have been by my side from the moment we received our diagnosis.  We have stood by each other through milestones and smilestones, through births and funerals, and everything in between.  Only with these women is it possible to laugh and cry in the same sentence.

A handful of my favorites and I traded our moccasins for some fuzzy socks as we escaped to the cabin last weekend for 24 hours of much needed relaxation.  We made it a mother/daughter getaway and took our daughters, 6 in total between us, all of whom are siblings to a brother with special needs.  We left the super dads home with all of our super sons.  

You know what we all thought was fun?  Getting out of the car at the gas station convenience mart and walking around - because, we could.  Simple pleasures. Pathetically relaxing.

The moms arrived at the cabin welcomed with a little gift I had come across and couldn't resist. . .

Seriously, we have to have a good laugh at this unexpected journey we share!  Will people dare laugh when they see us strutting around with our new totes?  More likely to just give a confused double take, maybe?

The girls played with us, around us, and then disappeared altogether.  We thought ourselves pretty efficient that we could couple a needed respite for ourselves with bringing 6 little girls and being the "fun mom" that our daughters need to have us be.

This little trio of kindergartners - they have empathy.  They know what it is like to have your hair constantly pulled out in fistfuls as soon as you became old enough to grow hair. They know what it is like to have your toes run over by wheelchairs, to endure screaming for hours and to never get to ride in the grocery cart because you have to push your brother in a wheelchair so your mom can push the cart.  They speak the same language -it is the language of understanding.

These three older girls, they have empathy too.  Just like me, they meet a new special friend and are instant besties.  Without mentioning to each other that they have watched their brother seize, that their mother has been at the hospital instead of at their concerts, and that vomit is just part of daily life - they somehow know that they walk in the same shoes and they enjoyed strutting down our long driveway to nowhere sharing that same unspoken comfort.

And these ladies. . .(oh, so sorry friends that I only had one picture of even part of our group and it was this one - so I had to post it - forgive me? :) . . . they just ooze empathy.  With them I can take off that Normal Mom costume and just be my very genuine self, as can they, which makes for some really fun and refreshing company.

The 24 hour itinerary:  talk, sleeeeep, eat, repeat.  We returned to our boys with a bit more energy to our step and a new laugh line to add to our collection.

Empathy is walking in someone else's shoes.  Special moms -- we all share shoes.