January 20, 2013 § 6 Comments
My experiences as a mother are a collection of accidental friendships, unique individuals who lend compassion and acceptance; knowledge and inspiration. Perched quietly on a park bench, between grocery store aisles, poolside on summer afternoons, and in obscure unpredictable everyday locations these women have become companions who walk beside me through my most difficult days with a silent strength and warmth that fortifies my spirit.
Just as I do not use my children’s names in this space as a gesture of respect for their privacy, I also endeavor to tell their stories without labels. Both of my children have special needs that complicate their days while simultaneously providing endless opportunities for me to experience their world with the blessing of unique perspectives.
Before these small wonders made me a mother, I existed in the margins of my own life; lost to uncertainty and individual interests. I curled myself into invisible corners without daring to move into the forefront. Then with an all-consuming love that only motherhood could provide, I slowly learned to step into the noisy chaos of the world. This adventure into vulnerability and need has unlocked the well guarded spaces of my heart and invited accidental friends into my life.
Recently a new acquaintance, a reflection of myself during the earliest days of diagnoses and doubt, has gifted me knowing and insight in unplanned conversations. We lose track of time revisiting the past and unraveling shared hopes and fears that accompany our journey as mothers; the hesitation to relax into peacefulness for fear we will tempt fate to disrupt harmony, self-doubt and uncertainty over contradictory treatments, even practical pieces of our days often foreign to family members are common between us.
When a conversation is interrupted by muffled ringtones each of us reaches blindly with well-practiced efficiency to check our phones, the early signs of worry hiding in the corners of our smiles. There are those who know my experiences as therapists and those who are witness to my story through friendship, but this woman whose smile hides so many of the same fears is a beautiful accident of fate.