dear you – part two

As you may recall, yesterday’s post started like this ..

Dear Friends With Special Needs Kids,

I have something to tell you. And I’m thinking that you don’t hear it enough. So come closer and pay attention, OK? This is important.

YOU ROCK.

I went on to tell you a few of the specific ways in which you rock.

And even though it felt incomplete, I hit publish.

Then, as always, I kissed my girls one last time, left my heart behind, and got in my car and drove to work. And as I did, my brain ran a mile a minute. There were so many topics left untouched. So many things I needed to add. It simply wasn’t enough to leave it as it was.

So I’m at it again. Because I think this is important. Because we forget. Because we don’t hear it nearly enough.

So here goes.

~

Dear friends with special needs kids,

Here are some more reasons why you rock …

You rock because you know the difference between ignorance and malice.

You rock because you doubt yourself and because you know that that’s okay.

You rock because you never doubt your child. And because you won’t let anyone else doubt him either.

You rock because you know that it’s okay to be human.

You rock because you accept help when it’s offered. And offer it when you can.

You rock because you know that no one – no one – could possibly do this alone.

You rock because you know how much richer your life is for all of the people who are now in it and all of those who will be in it in the future.

You rock because you teach your children that no one one’s self-esteem should ever come at the expense of someone else’s.

You rock because you tell your truth – and because you want nothing more than for your child to be able to tell his. And because you know the difference.

You rock because you know what matters – and what doesn’t.

You rock because you know that diagnoses mean insight, information, and community NOT excuses, limitations or anything that we don’t give them the power to mean.

You rock because you apply what you’ve learned as a special needs parent to absolutely everything you do.

You rock because you know that ego has no place in a conversation about what is best for a child.

You rock because you learn as much from your children every day as you teach them.

You rock because you refuse to stay home and hide. And because sometimes you know there’s no choice.

You rock because you haven’t eaten a hot meal in years.

You rock because you long ago convinced yourself that you really don’t like your food too hot.

You rock because you know that bullies are cowards.

You rock because you’d fight the demons bare-fisted if you could.

You rock because you make no assumptions.

You rock because you know that it is in our weakest moments that we find our greatest strength.

You rock because in the deepest depths of the mud and muck, you find humor.

You rock because at the end of the day, you’re still you.

You rock because you cast your own insecurities aside – or work through them step by step by infuriatingly tiny step – to do what you need to do for your child.

You rock because you never become too much of a therapist to remember that you are a mother (or a father) first.

You rock because you play to your child strengths to help guide him through his challenges.

You rock because you know when to listen to the experts – and when to follow your gut.

You rock because you know that pain is never a competitive sport.

You rock because you know that EVERYONE has a story. And because you treasure the gift of discovering it.

You rock because you blaze a path for those to come.

You rock because you have learned that politics are personal.

You rock because you’ve learned that everything is personal.

You rock because you know that courage is not the absence of fear.

You rock because you know that nothing happens in a vacuum.

You rock because when you know it’s not working, you try something different.

You rock because you make what feels like Sophie’s choice. Dozens of times a day.

You rock because you know the difference between cruelty and curiosity.

You rock because you ask questions.

You rock because you can Google circles around thirteen year-old girls.

You rock because you know that sometimes the best way to be heard is to listen. And because you know that sometimes – just sometimes – you need to shout.

You rock because you bring cookies to IEP meetings – even the ones to which you’d really rather bring something with a trigger.

You rock because you know there is no more courageous act than asking for help.

You rock because you read that one last book at bedtime. Three times. And because you know that it’s okay if sometimes, you Just. Simply. Can’t.

You rock because you know that you matter. And because even when you forget, you listen when someone (ahem) reminds you.

You rock because you know that you are born into the company of blood relations, but that you can choose your family.

You rock because you still seek balance, no matter how absurdly unattainable it might seem at any given moment.

You rock because as much as you may want to drop-kick the next person who tells you that God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle, you don’t.

You rock because you know that, ‘What we typically do ..’ and, ‘Well, common practice is …’ are really stupid ways to start a sentence.

You rock because you know that Individualized Education Plans are meant to be just that – individualized.

You rock because you know that your path is just that – yours. And because you might silently judge a fellow mom for wearing really ugly shoes (c’mon people, we’re not saints) but you’d never judge the road upon which she chooses to set them.

You rock because you come here not just to read my drivel but to be a part of this community. To laugh, to cry, to cheer to commiserate – to find ways to make things better not just for your child but for all of our children.

You rock because you know, they are all OUR children.

So I’ll say it again.

~

Dear Friends With Special Needs Kids,

I have something to tell you. And I’m thinking that you don’t hear it enough. So come closer and pay attention, OK? This is important.

YOU ROCK.

Love,

Jess

*

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38 thoughts on “dear you – part two

  1. You rock because you can make me laugh, cry, cheer and nod my head all in the same post. Okay, two posts.
    Part two hit home just as much as part one. I will need a bigger fridge to post all these.

  2. THIS ROCKS! Jess, I don’t know where you get your “words” but by god keep em coming – I’m blown away by every SINGLE solitary post you write but this statement – sooooo true…..

    “You rock because you bring cookies to IEP meetings – even the ones to which you’d really rather bring something with a trigger.”

    Kris “likes this”

    Right backatcha – YOU ROCK, Jess!

  3. “You rock because as much as you may want to drop-kick the next person who tells you that God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle, you don’t”
    Yepppp…and thanks again Jess. We ALL need to hear this a lot more often then we do. xo

  4. LOVE the bit about ugly shoes!! Having special needs kids does not, thankfully, preclude us from the normal vagaries of adulthood.

    And thanks for the reminder that actually I might be doing OK

  5. Like I told you yesterday, these posts make me positively giddy. They’re the gold star stickers I’ve been mentally needing all these SN years.

    As for you, that you can find all of this love to give each and every day when YOU hurt, when YOU need a pat on the back, that my dear, isn’t even a “you rock” moment.

    It’s called grace. It’s called amazing. It’s a calling from somewhere else.

    I’m glad that God ( in his or her or whatever you believe) in its infinite wisdom, gave us these challenges, but also, gave us YOU.

    You know. To hold the flashlight. To lead the group in the hike through the dark.

    xo

    • This is it Jess. The perfect image of what your blog means to me. It’s you holding the flashlight and leading us. We’ll take turns. Thank you for the second day of “rocking.” I felt so deeply the permission not to read the book one more time. Some days I just can’t.

  6. you could honestly put up a “dear you” every single day, forever, and never run out of things to say. that’s how much you and the other parents rock.

  7. That saying, God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, is not scriptural. He waits for us to ask Him to help.

    Thank you, Jess. I have shared yesterday’s and will share today’s post with my daughter and other autism moms, dads and grands.

  8. So far from mere drivel!! Your words of support and the open space we all feel so comfortable diving into is all possible because of you – so I hope you know you totally rock right along with us!! And I must say, my little guys IEP meeting was awesome and now he’ll rock even more!! Thanks for your words of encouragement!

  9. Oh. I can’t think of anything else to say. My heart feels kinda over-whelmed. Hope you are able to hear your own words

  10. “You rock because you know how much richer your life is for all of the people who are now in it…” Like YOU! This is such a great list Jess, and so true. Lots of love to you!

  11. “You rock because you know that diagnoses mean insight, information, and community NOT excuses, limitations or anything that we don’t give them the power to mean.”

    Oh hell’s yes! This here is a family motto. Thanks again.
    Lisa

  12. Thank you Jess! You have reminded all of us in such eloquent words on what we think and do for our children. I have 2 special needs boys and I fight to the tooth and nail but in a kind, pragmatic, don’t mess with me way. I am printing this out and glueing it to the fridge! It is truly a message from God – whom I really believe helps us and hates the phrase “God only.. your a special person, blah blah”. Now that is ignorance at its best!

  13. This made my month! IT was like reading scripture. I found it uplifting and encouraging. Thank you for your time to write it. I want to print it out and carry it in my Bible for a reminder when we need that extra shove. You are a fabulous writer and have such a creative mind.

  14. Thank you so much for these posts Jess. I have sent them to hundreds of friends in the SN community and I have to tell you, because of your words, mountains have been moved. I have had friends tell me that they had been struggling and afraid to fight, to stand up and demand that their child get the education and services that they deserve, but that when they read your words, they were empowered. So you see, it’s not just a feel good post but one that has resulted in change, real change for our kids. Kudos to you. To all of us.
    —Jen
    I would love to repost on my family blog with a link back to yours. If you would consider this, my blog is at http://www.ReJenerationS.blogspot.com No biggie if you want to decline.

    • Thank you, Jen. I’m thrilled to hear that the ripple continues. It means so much. And thank you for asking about reposting. I do ask that you refrain from publishing them in their entirety, but by all means please do share the link. With gratitude, Jess

  15. Pingback: New Quote « C the Explorer

  16. Simply put, this makes me cry! Why?? I’m not sure…just an emotion that was provoked in reading this. I’m thinking its because it is so awesome to be reminded ALL OF THE WAYS IN WHICH I ROCK and even more importantly that I am NOT ALONE. Even though it feel like it most days…
    I EFFIN” ROCK!!!!!!

  17. This was amazing! I am a ‘newbie’ mom with a ‘newly’ diagnosed high maintenance child and I can relate to every single one of these! We DO rock, because this is OUR life! This IS our every day ~ and we love it! Happy to be here and hoping to learn and embrace this new part of our ‘family’~

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