The motto “It takes a village” was popularized by Hillary Clinton, though she certainly did not coin the phrase, nor did it apply to her life raising Chelsea in the White House. For parents with children with developmental disabilities, it certainly does take a village or at least some awesome relatives and fantastic friends.
This does not always mean that these adults are only around when your child is in the ER because of a high fever with the possibility of a seizure. Sometimes it’s easier to be around for the emergency events. It’s very clear when they occur. What’s less clear are the more positive events when the parents need family and friends around to share in the joy of the special needs child. Believe me, there are joyful moments and to feel the joy sharing is vital.
The fashion show at Isabella’s school is one such event. This year, every person who I invited via email responded yes. Our virgin attendees were my father’s brother and his wife — Uncle Don and Aunt Joan. It was especially meaningful to have them at our table because they have 9 grandchildren of their own…and because my children no longer have maternal grandparents.
Simply sharing the evening with my aunt, uncle, sister, sister-in-law, college roommate, Isabella’s godfather, a friend, my eldest daughter and her BFF, Isabella’s twin brother, and my husband made the joy of watching Isabella walk down that runway all the more joyful. And I have to turn away my BMF (best mom friend) and Isabella’s Annie Sullivan.
Thank you to my little village.