This week, I got to spend some time with a friend that I don’t get to see very often. It was a real treat as well as a moment of awareness. My friend Emily, is one of the smartest ladies I know, she is also one of my most blunt friends. There is no room for any misinterpretation with her. When we first met, I was 24, newly married to my first husband and had just started my first “real” job in NYC, post college. She was a colleague and I so admired her skills and sass. For a while, I did not know how to digest her delivery, but fast forward 25 years and I realize how much of a gift it is to have a friend like this. I learned so much from her, and continue to. Thinking back and realizing that at the time I did not even know what it was that she was teaching me, but she gave me so many tools that I now use every day. Tools that would help anyone, but as a parent to a child with Special Needs, these things have given me such strength.
What are they, you ask? Well, in a nutshell, Emily taught, and mostly by example, that:
1.Parents need to spend time away from their kids, even if it is only an hour. We are no good to anyone if we aren’t good to ourselves.
2. Boundaries are our friends. We can set limits and it is ok.
3. Ask for what you want. You will never know if you don’t try.
4. Believe you are worth it, or no one else will.
5. Dance and do not care what you look like.
6. Set your goals higher than you can imagine. You may surprise yourself.
7. If you don’t agree, speak up. You probably aren’t the only one.
I could probably go on with a few more, but these stand out as the strongest. I have no idea if Emily has a clue that she has taught me so much, but I am feeling so grateful for the friendship we have and the lessons I have learned.
I hope that by sharing this with you, it may have you think back to a friend who has taught you something or that this list will be motivating for you to speak up, stand up or dance!
April is always a tough month for me, the month that we “celebrate” Autism. I will write more about this later this month, but sometimes I just don’t want to celebrate. I will continue to spread awareness and hold onto hope for more for our children. I will never stop that!
We will be highlighting some great children this month, we have some Summer Camp options and as always, wonderful content from our community sponsors.
Here’s to starting the next month of 2017 together .
KnowDifferent.net is a site for all special need families that have to do anything “KNOWdifferently”. No matter what the diagnosis, our site will offer you a place to learn, a place to share and a place to feel KnowDifferent.
With Gratitude and Commitment,