When things are at their worst, a well-meaning person always tells me to make sure I’m taking care of myself or to get out of the house and recharge.
And I have always rolled my eyes at my sweet family and friends and then felt a little more alone than I was to begin with because they just don’t understand.
I’m usually firmly planted between a melting down teen, a little girl who I can’t cure with a hug and two boys sword fighting at my legs and eternally anchored down by the weight of grief. All of it just too much to find a way out from under. Determined to save everyone I stay right where I am, somewhere between immersed in motherhood and drowning in how fiercely I am needed.
I read a post from a fellow special needs momma I will never forget about putting on your oxygen mask and then another from an amazing talent about cherishing friendship and the two swirled in my head and took my hands and dug me out of the place I thought I had so rightly stood.
My oxygen mask has not been on for the past five years, I haven’t even lifted an arm to reach for it. My children’s are positioned to their faces, as best as they will let me and my husband is wearing his because I have expertly nagged him into breathing in when he needs to most. I have not attempted to make time for friends or clothes I like or a bracelet to go with the top I grabbed in Target while passing the women’s section on the way to get diapers and wipes.
But today I am leaving for New York. I am heading to Blogher for three days. From the moment I registered I have wavered between oh-my-gosh-what-am-I-thinking-trying-to-live-a-normal-life and look-at-me-I’m-doing-something-normal-people-do. I have leaned on friends, true friends who have spent hours with me coming in an out of a dressing room trying to find my own opinion again and who have texted and tweeted me through packing and nerves and dinner reservations.
So I am leaving for friendship and new possibilities and for me.
And when the flight attendant begins her necessary oxygen mask instructions I will be immersed in my latest book,
because I have already put mine on.
My trip to Blogher was graciously sponsored by Social Skills Central.
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