We'd air kissed and said our goodbyes, but before I crossed the threshold, she grabbed me by the wrist. Her blonde locks fell forward as she leaned her head intently in my direction. Fast paced, she spoke, yet stuttering to spill out the words: "I-I-I know…you-don't-need-any…help." I looked back at her quizzically, wondering what she was talking about. "I know you can take care of yourself. And. You-you don't need my help….But…" Her eyes searched my face intently. She continued: "I couldn't help but wonder as we talked about our teenagers if it didn't bring up just a teensy bit of pain inside you," she put her hand to her chest and waited for me to respond….
Seven of us local bloggers had gathered at #loveurcereal breakfast with Kellogg's, hosted by Busymom, including my friend Tori Taff, the concerned friend above. We talked to a Kellogg's marketing professional via conference call. We lamented about our busy schedules as mothers and how we managed to serve up nutritious breakfasts. Or not. But conference call ended, we compared notes on hot flashes, lagging libidos and mid-life waistlines along with the teen angst and other antics of our burgeoning youth.
I had to reach back and ponder hard about my friend's request. Perhaps I had felt a twinge when the other moms compared notes about their teen girls. I know I did have a fleeting thought about the contrast in our lives, mine including a teen daughter as well, but who has moderately severe autism. But the thought was just that, fleeting. Had I felt a twinge? Maybe. But I am so used seeing those thoughts race in and then out of my mental doors, that I don't offer them a place to sit. I just seem to notice their coming and going some of the time.
I truly appreciate my friend's sensitivity. It came from a sensitive heart, but also from her close friendship with an incredible mother/advocate. Her reaching out to me warmed my heart. We talked about her friendship with this other mother and how Tori watched her friend's pain as her friend learned early during her newborn's infancy that the child had a fatal condition and then unknown life expectancy.
The world would be a kinder, gentler place for the many parents like myself if others were as sensitive as Tori. But. No. If I spent time comparing my life to others', I'd. Be. Mis.Er.Ra.Ble. Instead, I am grateful for what I do have. Much. I am grateful for the blessings my child brings. Blessings that she would not offer our world had she of been born anyone but herself.