Last night I went to our monthly Help One Child meeting.
I almost missed it. I remembered it during the day, but forgot when I was getting supper on the table. It wasn't until after, when Mr. I asked me if I was going anywhere that I remembered. I told him I did have plans. He said, "Is it the Help One Child meeting? How about if you stay home and help this child!" I almost thought of staying home, yet he had already made plans to go to a friend's house. I wouldn't have seen him anyway. So I left.
I was a little late with all the vacillating between staying home and going. Sometimes staying home is so tempting. But the benefits of going are so great. I got to talk to adults who understand. They get it. They don't look at me with horror when I tell them of the kids' latest antics. They understand that even though I may get weary and complain a bit about some things, that I am still madly in love with my kids. They understand that even great parenting can't overcome brain damage sometimes. They can relate because they have dealt with some similar things. And the advice they give comes not from reading something in a book, but by life experience. They give me hope. They reassure me. It's so good for me to be with them.
Today I went to our homeschool group at a park day. Mr. I and Ms. D didn't come because Ms. D wasn't feeling well. I went to a park day without the kids. It also was good for me to go. We got to talk about another aspect of parenting kids. Yes, I may have pushed their comfort levels with my story of Ms. D and the police, but it was good for them to see that I am not perfect, my kids are not perfect. It's a real temptation for homeschoolers to hide the hard parts of our lives. I've been in groups like that. You come away thinking you're the only one struggling with a child who has a learning disability, your house is a mess, and your kid doesn't read Shakespeare in kindergarten. I'm so blessed to have a group that is supportive and encouraging, and not judgmental or isolating.
I also belong to an online group that encouraged me today. I found out again that I'm not alone. There are other parents of kids with FASD that notice that the kids tend to start sliding academically around fourth grade, when they have to use more higher level thinking. Though it's kind of sad to know others have to deal with that kind of thing, it's encouraging to know that some others have come out the other side.
I need encouragement and support. I can't do this alone. I'm thankful I don't have to do it by myself.