Isn't that the truth? Some of our favorite stories to tell people are the times that, at one point we were frustrated and exasperated, but when we are telling other people, we find the humor in the situation, and laugh. I have at least a hundred of those stories. Maybe even more! One of my favorites comes from a time when we were trying to get our son to cut the grass. After days of prompting and reminding, our yard had started to look like the grass plains in some wildlife documentary on the Discovery channel. However, I got up one morning and thought we finally had it. Our son was awake, dressed, and taking about cutting the grass before I left for work. However, when I returned home that afternoon, I was greeted by the prairie grasslands of long ago and a note that read:
"Dear Mom and Dad,
Sorry I could not cut the grass. I couldn't find the sunscreen.
I'm going to _____'s house. Be back at dinner."
WHAT?!? Was he serious? He couldn't cut the grass because he couldn't find sunscreen? Did I forget to mention that at the time he walked everywhere? Wasn't he afraid of getting a sunburn while walking to his friend's house? Ahhhhh!
I LOVE that story! It still makes me smile every time I tell it, even now.
Then there are the other stories. The stories that did not just make me yell inside my head in frustration, but made me yell out loud when no one could hear. Made me cry when no one was watching. Made me beg for a magical answer when I knew there wasn't one. The ones that, no matter how I spin them, will never be humorous. Those days, those stories, I still would never trade. Those are the stories that have been the catalyst for me becoming who I am today. They are the stories that pave the path that I have chosen to walk down.
I use those stories often. Use them to let other parents know that they are not alone. Use them to teach compassion and consideration to teachers and other professionals that have no way of knowing what it is like to be a parent of a child with special needs. Use them to mold the people I supervise who are just entering this awesome profession. These days, these moments, these memories are special in their place in my life. I invite you to share your stories. The good. The bad. The funny. The sad. Because when we share our experiences we are Unified and know that we are not alone!