Saturday, October 15, 2011
I spent yesterday morning with my group of friends named The Divas. The Divas are about as unDIVAish as a group could get. Each of us has a child or children with special needs, who our lives revolve around. We struggle to care for our children's ever changing demands while trying to fit ourselves and our family into society. Divas are not a group of whiners though, instead we may actually be called winers. Yes, part of our relationship often includes indulging a bit. Sometimes we get together pretending to be true Divas and escape our lives. Even if it is only for just a few hours, it is always a great time. Our bond is so strong because our understanding of each others lives is so great. There are people who get my life but there are many more who do not. To be with The Divas is easy, the commonality of our lives bonds us. The Divas don't judge me for example, when trying a new medicine on Teale that is "extreme." Their advice and care is from experiences they have lived similarily, so judgement is not part of it. We share our lives openly with each other and know when one of us is "in trouble." We have rallied numerous times when a Diva was down, taking meals, hugs, coffee, flowers, calling, texting and e-mailing our love and support for each other. When we are not together, texts and e-mails keep us in the loop of each others lives. It is a daily occurrence to get an e-mail and or text from a Diva asking how I am doing or sharing a story only our group would get. We have done many things for each other; babysitting, cleaning, researching, advocating, cooking, but what we do best, is hard to put into words, it is a feeling of belonging. Our group is small, seven including myself, but often we are only six, as one of The Divas works full time. There are many other women who I have similar bonds with, many women I have become close to because of our special children. But The Divas are my biggest supporters, they are the ones I tell my most intimate thoughts to, they are the ones I share my scariest fears with. Don't get me wrong, as any group would, we have had our times when I have wondered if we would survive. We have had times when feelings were hurt and healing needed to be taken slow. In the end we always come back to each other though. Without The Divas I would feel alone in a crowd of hundreds. Summer is always a difficult time for each of us, the schedule is off, some kids are in Summer school, others are not. There are many weeks off of programing altogether for all of our kids. The Summer is often about survival, literally. We just try to get through the days, while our kids who thrive on routine struggle to stay regulated and happy. Our kids are not good matches as a group, so getting together with each of our families rarely happens. We will occasionally break off and get a couple of us together with our kids, but more often, the Divas is just about us Moms. Last year we realized our "easiest" time to do something social together was while our kids were in school. We started gathering for L.L. (liquid lunch) on occasion and often the wine (beer, mimosas, Bloody Mary's, etc.) would be flowing. Don't worry we are careful, we have designated drivers, we don't drink more than a glass, etc., etc. My point is, it is a few hours of escape, with women who truly get what I am trying to escape from. We will, of course, talk about our kids, the doctors, the medicines, the sleepless nights, the IEP's, the school meetings, the difficulty we experience trying to manage our relationships with our husbands and family. But what we do best is laugh! We enjoy each other and the many similarities of our complicated lives. We celebrate the small steps our kids take that only each of us would understand. Yesterday was the first time since last Spring we have all gotten together. We celebrated a Diva's Birthdays, Diva style. We gathered at one of our houses the earliest we could, around 9AM this time. We had breakfast together, including cupcakes for the Birthday girl. Mimosas and Bloody Mary's in hand for some of us. We laughed, talked, told stories and we even watched a funny movie together, "Bridesmaids." It was an escape from the stress we live daily. It is how I survive the constant barrage of disappointments my family faces on a regular basis. A few hours and a lot of laughs with friends who have a deep understanding of who and what I live. Thank you Divas for the many ways you have enriched my life!