I have realized that being friends with my husband, my children, and myself honestly requires some really special people with loving and compassionate hearts.
Our friends must understand. They need to understand that I may “overreact” to a simple piece of food. They must understand that play dates may need to be canceled at the last minute due to a severe asthma attack. They have to understand that we may never be able to step foot into their home because their cat will set off my son’s allergies. They understand that I will need to know what they will be serving because it is important to me as a mommy, that I am able to serve my little darlings’s safe food that is comparable to everyone else’s.
Our friends must be respectful. It is impossible to understand every part of this journey of parenting little blessings with anaphylactic allergies or developmental delays. So while our friends may not understand everything, they must respect the difficult choices we make. Sometimes that means not being able to be a part of something they want to share with us. Trust me my sweet friends, we wish more than anything to share with you anything you deem important. It hurts us to have to say no to you.
Our friends must be compassionate. They must be able to look at me and know when I am at my breaking point before I actually break.
They must be self-sacrificing and understand that their children will not be able to run around with foods that can harm our babies. They must sacrifice their "right" to feed their children whatever they want around our boys. They must sacrifice bringing yummy treats to our home without discussing it with us first to verify its safety. Our friends must also understand as soon as they enter the house they will need to wash their hands and their children’s little hands before touching our oldest son or our busy B or their toys.
Our friends must communicate frankly and still listen with all their hearts.
Our sweet friends help us stay grounded. They listen to problems they often cannot understand. They must be able to emphasize with issues they cannot possibly fathom. They must be able to talk with us openly. Our friends need to let us know when we are being over the top and need to take a step back. Equally important, they are our cheerleaders and tell us when to fight harder and not back down.
Our friend's must help us remember to think of ourselves. They must continue to tell us that we need time for ourselves even when we feel the overwhelming need to be with our babies to ensure their safety. Taking time for myself feels foriegn and is counterintuitive. Friends must be able to remind us that we are important and need time for ourselves so we can continue to operate at super-mommy and super-daddy speed!
Our friends must know that there are no words that can make the challenge of raising children with anaphylactic food allergies, anaphylactic sting allergies, and developmental delays any easier, but we still need them to listen. We need them to just hear us as we express feeling alone, even with their loving support by our sides. They need to know that there are no words that can take away our fears, but being there for us means more than words can express.
Yes, our friends are pretty amazing and selfless people. If they are able to accommodate all of those challenging feats from above, I give them my all. But even more rewarding, in return for all of those amazing gifts of friendship they share with us, they get what so few people will ever enjoy in this life- they get to watch my children grow, mature, and blossom along side of me. Sharing these beautiful little boys with them is also sharing the best parts of my sweet husband and myself and I know of no better gift. I am so grateful they are willing to be these special people in our lives. I am in awe of their continuous love and actions of support. Friends like this are rare treasures. While I only have a few "rare jewels" in my life, my cup runneth over!
Thank you our sweet friends, we are so blessed to have you!