My mission president’s wife posted this blog post on facebook. Now, I am not on facebook very often anymore so I found it rather serendipitous that I saw this post when I logged in the other day. It is a bit of a long post, but it is certainly worth the read. I will take a minute for you to click on over and read it before I continue.
I read that article and it hit so close to home for me. For the past year or so I have felt like I am living very much outside the social norm. I will be honest in saying that it has not been easy. I know that as a general rule, people are kind and try to find the best in others. However, there does come the occasional moment of judgement from someone.
Most of these moments are not malicious in nature, but ignorant or a fleeting moment of insensitivity. Although I hate to admit it, I used to be in some of these people’s places before. I think we all have. I remember moments looking at a couple divorcing and wondering why they couldn’t keep it together. I remember watching mothers with unruly children in the grocery store cringing and questioning their parenting skills. I used to think that people that shopped at health food stores were snobs. I watched other parents drop their kiddos off at preschool and would think to myself that I would never do that… I would take the time to work with my kids at home.
I now have found myself on the other end of judgment. I am that woman who is divorced. Back in the day, it had never occurred to me that someone might just have very valid reasons for leaving their marriage. Yes, many things can be overcome. However, many things can not. I, unfortunately fall into that second category. I never saw it from that point of view until I was forced to go through it. I now talk to people who simply do not understand this point of view and get annoyed with decisions that I make. I have to keep reminding myself that I was once there, in their shoes. Just because people don’t understand or don’t agree doesn’t mean that I am making poor choices. What a humbling lesson to be taught during life. I am grateful for the things that it is teaching me though and I hope to apply them to the rest of my life.
I do on occasion have an unruly child in the grocery story. Although I am not vocal about it here on the blog, I am the mother of a child on the autism spectrum. The last few years have been a combination of challenge, patience, tears and hope. I have a son, who for some reason was sent to this life with a significant social challenge. There are days that it pushes me to my limits. There are days that I have to dig deep in order to find patience and understanding and work with the unexpected hurtles that this challenge throws my direction. In small addition to this, I have a 4 year old whose only example is an Asperger older brother, so at times, he copies his brother. It adds the challenge of trying reason with two children acting the same way for completely different reasons. Some people watch my children and criticize me for not having better control. Little do they know that it is the little things that are in effect. I work with all of my children every day, but things that would normally be an annoyance at most can cause a bit more of an upset in our home. Staying up late, excess sugar, crowds and loud sounds all aggravate our situation. I have things very much under control usually, but sometimes the kiddos mixed with being an overly tired single mom gets the better of me.
As for the health food stores, heaven bless the person who came up with Whole Foods. A year and a half ago after watching my daughter battle terrible eczema (to the point that her feet looked like ground beef,) asthma, and allergies, I realized that some of the problem must be coming from the inside out. I had her tested and low and behold, I was right. Gluten, dairy and soy were all culprits in her allergy menagerie. I immediately took her off all three and slowly over the past 18 months, I have seen her body heal. What would we do without people that come up with food for those with multiple allergies.
And as for preschool, I am now a firm and stalwart believer that so much of our childhood is meant to be shared with other children. Social interaction is such a vital part of who we are. I strongly believe that preschool is more for the social development of a child than it is for the academics. I have an amazingly smart 4 year old that barely missed the deadline for school. If it weren’t for the few hours a week that he spends in preschool, he and I would both be going crazy.
Now, I am not complaining. I am so happy with my life. I am happy with my choices. I am happy being me. I am grateful for the children that I have been blessed with. I am grateful for the challenges that I have been given.
Now, coming back to my original point. It has been hard for me these past few months as I have tried to embrace the new me. There are a few out there that understand these situations and for these people, I have to say thank you so very much. It has been so nice to have someone to turn to and someone to talk to. What a blessing in my life.
There are others that don’t. That is ok though. It reminds me where I used to be and where I have progressed to. My hope after reading that blog is that I can remember how I feel now and apply that when I come across a situation where I have a tendency to judge. Although I have had a small taste of both sides, I would like to apply this in a broader sense when I come into contact with others.
Now, I am sure that this post made absolutely no sense. I am now going on five days with about 3 hours of sleep a night. I just wanted to express some things that were on my mind.