This morning, I met with a new friend at Barnes and Noble and we talked about our sons…both of whom are on the Autism Spectrum.
On Wednesday, my husband and I are meeting with our pediatrician to talk about a possible ADD/ADHD diagnosis for one of our twins.
On Thursday, I will spend two hours taking my other twin to Occupational Therapy and Counseling to help meet the challenges he faces with his Autism.
And that’s just one week in my life.
I catch myself wondering, “How did my life get so hard?”
I catch myself thinking, “I wish my kids, my life, were normal, like other people’s.”
But before those thoughts float away, I catch them by the tail, stare them in the face, shake my head and laugh.
Because no one’s life is “normal.”
Everybody has something.
Somebody’s going through marriage problems.
Somebody’s grandma is in hospice.
Somebody has an unplanned pregnancy.
Somebody’s son is addicted to drugs.
Somebody’s child has learning disabilities.
Somebody’s husband just lost his job.
Somebody’s child has cancer.
Somebody’s wife has chronic migraines.
Somebody’s struggling with infertility.
Somebody’s daughter has postpartum depression.
Somebody’s fighting with his in-laws.
For me? It’s hard to have two kids with special needs.
But somehow, it’s a comfort to realize that everybody has something.
It’s thinking that everyone else’s life is normal/happy/great that makes me feel alone.
Pain is a great equalizer.
But it doesn’t have to isolate us.
My coffee date this morning was with a woman I met at the Autism center. After a bit of generalized small talk, avoiding the elephant in the room, (we both knew why we were there), she took a deep breath and said, “Do you want to get together sometime?”
I was shocked and pleased.
Yes. Yes, I would like that.
So, we exchanged numbers.
We became friends on Facebook.
And today we met for coffee and shared about our lives, our kids, our pain.
Everybody has something….but everybody needs someone too.
Life’s struggles can leave us feeling breathless and wounded.
But taking a chance and saying, “You know what? Me too” is just the type of New Normal we need.