Saturday, March 12, 2011

Common Ground

A few weeks ago, I finally took the time to write about "That Night"...the night we found out about Brooklyn's Spina Bifida. As with many of you, I was 18 weeks pregnant and totally shocked by the news. And like all of you, my world was changed forever.

I had been wanting to write about that night for a while, but it wasn't until I decided to audition for this show that I finally made the time. My challenge wasn't writing my story -- that was buried in my soul, just waiting for the moment I wanted to put it on paper -- the challenge was taking my story and trying to apply to motherhood in general. Finding the common thread between my story and every other mother's story.

At first, I put it off. I honestly didn't know how I was going to find that common thread without forcing the issue or creating some cheesy conclusion. But as I sat down and relived that night, the answer came easier than I thought it would...

Every mother hurts for their child, no matter what the trial. Yes, our children will have more trials than most, but as I know from my other two daughters, every trial is significant to a mother...whether it's a scraped knee or a casted foot. And that realization did more for my soul than I ever imagined.

So often we talk about how we want people to accept our children for who they are and to not focus on the differences. Shouldn't we do the same for others? It is so easy to fall into the pity trap and isolate ourselves from our friends who can't possibly understand what it is we go through on a daily basis. Because they don't understand. How could they?

But we can't focus on that. It is just too lonely.

Yes, we need to find support groups and web sites like these so that we can feel understood, but we also need to be intentional about maintaining those friendships and relationships that are different.

I'm not saying it won't be hard. I have several girlfriends -- and siblings! -- that have children the same age as Brooklyn. Watching them grow together and reach their milestones at different times will be challenging and probably heartbreaking at times. But I can't let that keep me from enjoying and maintaining those friendships for myself and, better yet, for Brooklyn. How awesome is it that she will have a built-in group of Christian friends and cousins that I know will love her unconditionally?

I also think it is okay -- and emotionally healthy -- for us to let those friends into our world once in a while. It is easy to put on our strongest faces and let out a convenient "fine" when they ask how things are going, but that doesn't help anyone. If they truly want to know, let 'em have it, and I think you'll be surprised at how they react.

Now, I'm not saying we should walk around with a sob story on our sleeve, but if we're having a "SB sucks day" and someone happens to ask, a true friend will listen. She might even cry. And that, my friends, is what friendship and support is all about.

I truly feel God put different people in our lives for a reason. And just as we are learning through our beautiful children, those differences are often the biggest blessings.

~Lisa (@ Heaven Sent)


Stefanie said...

I feel like you've taken my thoughts for the past few weeks and put them into words...

Ann Imig said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with LTYM. Yes, sharing with one another and finding connections makes us all stronger.


The Forest Minstrel said...

You make a wonderful point about friends. *I'M* a friend to an SB mom and, while I understand on some level what she's going thru, I don't always *REALLY* understand. But I want to. And I want to give her someone to talk to when she needs it. I don't mind if she's having one of "those" days and needs to get it off her chest. I'll even take her son from her and we'll go "play" the piano (at church) so she can have some mom time with others and not have to worry about him.
Again, thank you for a wonderful lesson. :)