So something incredible happened to me last week and it was an experience like I have never had before…..
I took Emma to speech therapy, as I do every Wednesday. I’m sitting in the waiting room with the other moms as the kids go back with their therapists, and I notice the 5 of us have been here for about 4 weeks in a row. Now there has been some small talk and polite conversation amongst us, but very minimal.
Respectfully, as mom’s of children with some learning disability or another, we all seem to be enjoying some quiet time. All on their phones….. doing whatever. Me? Always writing in a notebook, either something for my blog, or poetry lines to work on later. Either way, we all seem to have the same understanding and are completely comfortable in the silence.
Now to understand this next part, I think you are going to need to know me a little bit better….. I am a fairly talkative person and I am very open and honest in conversations, with people I know. Now don’t get me wrong, I can talk to a stranger or someone I barely know for days. Especially if it is in a structured situation; Dinner party, get together, a meeting – whatever.
But I do not start a conversation with every person I come in contact with waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting room at the doctor’s office, or Starbucks. I certainly will respond if some one chooses to speak to me – I’m not antisocial! I just never start it myself. I have a few really close friends that I get together with, usually every month, but I do not call them – ever. I don’t have Facebook, I’m not in therapy, no book clubs, no girls night out team and no support groups.
I volunteer at both my younger children’s Elementary Schools, I’m in the PTA at both, I’m on the Parent Involvement Committee at Emma’s school, I take kickboxing classes, on-line courses, I read books, other blogs and I write. My husband is truly my best friend, so I can talk to him about everything. And if I ever need swift kick in the butt to get me out of a rut or an understanding shoulder to cry on, I’ve got my mother.
So now that I have thrown my social profile out there for you and we are a little bit closer now – let’s get back to my story. As I was saying….. 5 moms and respectful silence. I am writing in my notebook, I get a text message and pull my phone out of my purse. Another mom gets a phone call and steps out of the office. Now, 4 of us, and one woman lays her head on the back of a chair and sighs, saying out loud, more to herself than to any of us, “I could fall asleep right here.” I don’t really know how or why it happened, but we all laughed out loud. Then suddenly, everyone’s things are set down or put away….. And we start talking.
I mean; easy, smooth, honest conversation. How do you handle temper tantrums? Do people stare in public? Any self harm issues? Screaming sessions? Do random people ask you questions all the time? Fighting? Throwing things? Issues at school? Personal frustrations? Solutions? Communication barriers?….. Hard topics. All different; Autism, OCD, Undiagnosed, and Down Syndrome. All beautiful. All struggling. And all our children. That we love more than any thing else in the entire world. That we exhaust ourselves for. That sometimes we feel we can’t help…..
It was, what I now call “Mom-therapy.”
There was literally no judgement in that room at all. Just complete understanding, caring, empathy, and something else that I believe was….. Relief. It was really quite extraordinary. This went on for about 40 minutes or so, then our little angels started to come out through the door, and conversation turned to their therapists. I think we all felt a tinge of reluctance to leave, but life goes on.
I had to hoist my daughter over my shoulder because she was refusing to walk with me. While another mom was being dragged to her car by her little one. She turned to me with what appeared to be tears in her eyes and said, “I’m really glad that we all had this talk today.” I replied, “Honestly, me too.” And I meant it.