By Christi Cazin
I’m blessed to have many amazing friends in my life. As a Duchenne mom, I find myself needing their support and love more and more as time passes. I’m so grateful for the support system I have, but there are a few things I’d like them to know as this Mother’s Day comes along…
I don’t think your problems are trivial
Even though my life is hard, I’m very aware of the fact that everyone has difficulties because – well, life is just hard. That doesn’t mean that I think your problems are trivial. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I need to hear about what’s going in your lives too, it helps bring a level of normalcy that is otherwise hard to find in the world of special needs. Please vent to me friend, never think I’m judging you.
The things you call little, are not little to us
Those gestures that you call “little things” are not little to us. The way you text or call just to check in makes me feel cared for. The cards you send when something heartbreaking has happened, makes me feel loved. The prayers you say for us when we aren’t even aware, the hugs, the long conversations we have – those are not little in my eyes. In fact, those are the very things that often keep me afloat somedays, and remind moms like me that we are not alone.
Let me be there for you too
I’ve heard it said many times from friends that because my life is difficult or busy, they don’t want to vent to me or ask me for help when they need it. This is not what I want! Friendship is a two-way street. I want to be there for you just like you are there for me. It feels good to focus on the needs of others sometimes, instead of dwell on my own. Every mom needs support – not just special needs ones.
Don’t keep things from me
I know some of you hesitate to talk about certain things around us. Of course, it stings sometimes to hear about sports games and other activities your child is a part of, but I still want to hear about it. It may be a reminder of what my child can’t do, but those reminders are all around me every day and I’m very used to their presence. I want to hear about your child’s passions and accomplishments! You listen to my updates about appointments, hard days and my child’s interests. I want to listen too, because that’s what friends do!
You can’t fix it
I know you wish my circumstances were different, so do I at times, but this is my life. You can’t fix it. When I lament to you, I don’t expect eloquent advice. The simple act of listening makes all the difference. Our world is about acceptance and adjusting to constant change. Don’t worry if you feel like you can’t find the right words to comfort me, there are no such words.
You matter to me more than you know
Parenting is isolating enough without adding special needs to the mix. Having supportive and loving friends that come alongside me through the tough stuff makes me feel a level of love I cannot describe. When you share in my joys and sorrows, I feel honored. When you listen, bring a coffee, text something encouraging or simply sit with me when I’m too hurt to talk – you give me hope. Thank you for all that you do, you are so loved and appreciated.