I Have A Community

By: Lindsay Kelly

I have a community, a family of sorts, if you will. Amidst the loneliness that comes from other parent's blank stares while my child runs away in fear, and I, harried look away... even still, I am not alone.

I have a place, during those seasons where the more I do the more there is to be done that I can come to, and I'm reminded that really, the only important thing, is simply that I'm trying to 'do' at all.

I have a home full of faces I can clearly see in my hear- who stand with me bold and defiant- that my child is not merely 'not listening', as my mother suggests, or really 'not willful', as that friend insisted the other day.

No, I am not alone.

I have a community of people who understand giving when it's not within me to give.

Who understands shouting loud and clear when some school, or some society would have me or my child silenced.  No, I am not alone.

Nor am I weak for feeling that the only effort I have inside me on any given day... is to pull my hair back, just in time to brush the hair from my child's face, because to him, it feels like needles.

I am no lacking some 'skill' when I lock myself in the bathroom for one minute, just to breathe, because I missed the opportunity to eliminate the sensory overload and my child is now climbing bunk-beds, screaming, and trying to get his shirt off all at one time!  NO!  I AM NOT ALONE! (While in the bathroom breathing, I shut my eyes and remember 'my community').

And I'm certainly not irresponsible for canceling one more appointment because my child woke up having a complete 'the world is inside out' kind of day.  And, besides all that, the appointment would have left both of us even more frustrated... which, in turn, create more chaos.

I think it makes me smart.  I think I have a voice.  I think that my mother, or friend or some ill informed person can go have different experiences with other 'white picket' kids, because I will never allow them to be placed in someone else's stupid box of an ideal!

No... I am not alone because I have Karla, who always has something encouraging to share.  I have Katrina, whose practical experience has worked for me so often.  I have Michele and Michelle with their wealth of knowledge and passion for this blessing, this curse.  I have Valerie who I relate to -  I didn't know it wasn't normal to not feel overwhelmed, or put myself last!  I have all the countless others whom I love to listen to share.  And, finally, I have all of those who, like me, are often times silent here... but are comforted daily by everyone's insight, warmth, and connectedness.

We are not alone.  We will not be silenced.  We are okay, not IN SPITE of all of this, but BECAUSE of all of this.

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