I was recently invited to be a part of an ongoing email thread with some friends. There are seven of us. We each have an assigned day and on that day we write what we are thankful for that week. Sometimes we also write what we are not thankful for. The idea is that, with all the challenges of parenting, sometimes we need to stop and remind ouselves to be thankful, even if it is just for the basics: food to eat, a job to pay the bills, or that we are here to see another day. (I, of course, immediately tried to convince the group to turn this into a blog.)
This email has been going on for some time now, although I'm not sure for how long. I was only recently invited to join the group. This summer we lost a member of our mom's group to cancer, and I'm pretty sure she had been the seventh member. It feels awkward to me to take her place in the group, and of course I was a little hurt that I wasn't invited in the first place. But I am happy to be included now.
It has been like this with me and this group of moms for a few years now, ever since Moe's autism diagnosis. When Moe turned two, we had to drop out of our regular play date to make time for Moe's therapies. And Moe couldn't keep up with the new kinds of activities the group was taking on, even at that age. I still keep in touch with the other moms as much as I can, go to nights out and other kid-free events, but I always feel just a little bit on the outside.
Still, I am glad for whatever connections I have, as being a special needs parent can be such a lonely experience. And so I participate in whatever I can, thankful that these moms still remember to include me, the one who often can't make it, has to cancel at the last minute, and very rarely thinks to plan anything.
In the spirit of those emails, I thought about writing a thankful post here today. But since this blog is about hope, here are a few things I'm hopeful about this week.
I am hopeful that Moe will learn to communicate with me in whatever way he can.
I am hopeful that Moe's additional behavior therapy will teach us both the skills we need to be safer and enjoy each other more when we are out.
I am hopeful that I will finish my novel for NaNoWriMo this month!
I am hopeful that a new friendship with another special needs parent will continue to grow.
I am hopeful that things will get easier.
What are you hopeful for this week?
When she isn't busily trying to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, Jen also writes at her personal blog, Anybody Want A Peanut?