It’s funny how we reach peace with things. Peace sometimes comes to us at unexpected times in unexpected ways. Today I reached peace about something I was struggling with at 4:00am while I watched my four year old sleep. His chest and throat were spasming causing breathing issues. It resulted in this loud squeak somewhere between a quack and a bark. I was staring at his lips to make sure they were still flushed and pink, and not the dreaded shade of blue. As I watched him, I could hear my baby upstairs crying, and my husband’s soft footsteps as he paced the room holding him. It was in this moment that I found my peace. I was taken aback by the timing of it, I must admit, but nevertheless, this is how it happened.
You see, so often I feel sad and frustrated when I hear things like “your kids are too coddled” or “you hold them too much”. I want to scream every time someone says “he’s old enough to walk” and “you should take more time for yourself”. It makes me feel judged, it makes feel misunderstood. While genuine and well meaning, these comments show a total and complete lack of understanding of the realities of my situation. And I guess that’s my point. I feel like no one understands.
And then something happend. I met someone who does understand. And I mean perfectly. Her daughter suffers from the same rare version of Dystiona that my son does. This is when my struggle to understand my conflicted feelings over the situation began.
It is amazing to have another mom that gets it! Someone who can watch my sons walk and know if it’s a good or bad day, simply based on their quality of movement. Someone who’s norm is to be up at night making sure her daughter is breathing too. Someone with whom to share videos and pictures of our kids funny walks and twitches. It’s nice to not have to explain. But you know what? I kinda hate it too. I hate that her amazing and perfect little angel hurts. I hate that she feels the same way I do. I hate that someone so loving and kind has to experience the same lack of understanding by the world around her.
But then I had my epiphany, and it is this… I don’t get it either.
To my friend going through a divorce…I don’t get it. To my friend who lost her father in a fire…I don’t get it. To my friend who’s baby died…I don’t get it. To my friend who can’t find work…I don’t get it. In fact there is a whole lot I don’t understand. Frankly, I hope I never do. And while I don’t understand, I do love you. I do support you. I will keep holding your hand when things get tough even if I have no clue what it’s like. I appreciate your patience with me when I say the wrong thing, and I’m sorry if it ever makes you feel alone.
And today, at 4:00am I feel grateful that you don’t get it! I don’t want your baby to hurt. I don’t want you to be exhausted. I don’t want you to know the anxiety of stressing over something that affects you so much but that you have no control over. I don’t want you to know what it is like to be the one explaining why you can’t just make it better by lifestyle changes and choices. And you see, for you to get it, would mean that you have lived through something that I don’t want for you. And friend, please know that as you read this, I am really glad you don’t understand, and I genuinely hope you never have to.
So to all of you in my life with a total and complete lack of understanding, thank you. Thank you for your patience and thank you for your support. I’m sorry if I ever expected anything else. Please know that when the time comes in your life when I’m the one that doesn’t get it, I will return the favour, and do my best to just love you through it.