A Nearly Empty Pool of Friends-By-Design by Gina St. Aubin – Friendships: Struggles, Humor, Triumphs and Angels Series

by Gina St. Aubin

I watch other moms around me develop relationships between them. Seemingly, it comes easily, naturally. I don’t know how much of this is true and how much is my perception of their relationships. It seems they’re almost always speaking of someone picking up another’s child, play dates, gatherings of the moms, birthday parties, this or that. They stand in circles, bonding. Friends-By-Design.

Outside of high school, college, the work place, I am now thrust into a world in which the only thing I have initially in common with another in my only meeting place (school) is parenting. The first day of school, after whimpering your child to their class and reluctantly letting go, offers parents the chance to start measuring, sizing, small talk on the walk back to the car. The bonding begins. The reverse at pick up. Fast forward to 2nd grade and relationships are born. Most times guided by the hopeful blossom of friendships by parents, until the kids take the reigns pointing the adult friendships in the direction of the peers they’ve been drawn to. Either way, built-in friendships have a chance to grow.

In my new world though, my oldest has significant special needs, leaving me to have even less in common with most. Now at 2nd grade, I have few friends from my son’s school. Few parents I would find my time distracted by; even fewer parents and families that reach out, willing to accept, understand. My pool of Friends-By-Design shrinking, my oldest neurotypical child just beginning school which offers up another chance to find friends amongst commonality…in a few years…

For now, my pool is nearly empty. There are times I look around at the Designer Friends and wish that I had more, that I could bond with them as they had with each other, that our kids too could play with the ease of kids’ play. Then I swish my feet in my pool, look across and find those few friends that do “get it“, and I realize that my pool fits me just fine. It’s warm, it’s always cleaned and ready, and its design fits in my new world.

What’s your Friends-By-Design pool like?

(Photo By: Hellinjay / Flickr)

Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin is a former Victim’s Advocate who now advocates for those with intellectual and physical challenges. Her eldest son is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Electrical Status Epilepticus during Sleep / Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia) and Developmental Delays. In June, 2012, her son also underwent a successful hemispherectomy. Gina is the editor, author and owner of Special Happens, serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation, and resides in Colorado where she is a mother of 3, wife, blogger, writer and special needs advocate. You can reach Gina through various Special Happens connections on Facebook and Twitter, or email her directly.
Gina St. Aubin
Gina St. Aubin

5 Responses to A Nearly Empty Pool of Friends-By-Design by Gina St. Aubin – Friendships: Struggles, Humor, Triumphs and Angels Series

  1. I don’t know. I have average kids and still feel left out when I see the other parents chatting at pick up. I did manage to make 2 friends with daughters in my oldest’s class. One because they were new to town and I reached out and asked my DD to befriend hers, but after that she started the friendship. The other friend reached out to me also. She saw me at registration and said that her daughter said great things about mine and would I want to get them together to play sometime? Like maybe right then at the park?

    I love that I have these Mom friends, but it’s not because I did anything really. Maybe that’s my Introvert showing through. I don’t know…

    I would love for a Mom with a kid with special needs to reach out in the same way. I would welcome the friendship as much as the other ones, maybe even more so because of the benefit for my kids.

    I don’t know. Very interesting thoughts! And, btw, I am in Colorado too… :) Maybe we could introduce the kiddos one day? (and ourselves too) 😀

  2. It took me 22 years to find two parents that I could call friends. Oh I knew all the parents in my childrens’ classes – I just didn’t connect with them. I connected with these two friends when I stopped looking for autism and adhd as a common factor. When I took those out of the equation, then I was able to find friends that I had other things in common with.
    My pool may be small, but that’s the way I like it. spend my precious energy where it’s needed most.

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