When I agreed to the Parent-to-Parent match with the parents and grandparents of a toddler with cerebral palsy, I wasn’t expecting to meet old friends for the first time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the “supporting parent” or the “supported parent,” there’s something to be said for sharing the challenges, joys, frustrations, and celebrations. There are feelings involved that others just do not understand, no matter how hard they want to and no matter how hard they try. In raising a child with disabilities, we are not just hiking the Flint Hills, but embarking on an expedition in the Swiss Alps. We hold on to each triumph, each victory, while awaiting the next. Through sharing them with someone else who is on the same journey, it gives us the fuel, ambition, support, and encouragement to allow us to continue to climb towards the next summit. Through sharing the journey with those who understand, we are no longer traveling alone, but know that there are others with us on the road, as we help each other along.
*Names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of both the referred and supporting parents and their children.