It takes a village. A tribe. A family. Raising a child with special needs isn’t easy, but having supporters, near and far, make the journey a little easier. Your village may consist of 5 people or 50. Your tribe may be filled with online friends or a local community you see face to face. Whoever makes up your village is irreplaceable, I know mine is.
Valentine’s Day is typically romantic, filled with chocolates, hearts and roses, but I’d like to express my utmost gratitude for our village on this day with nothing but words.
Happy Valentine’s Day to our village. I love my tribe. I love our family.
My life wouldn’t be the same without you. My life is richer because you are in it. I wake every morning and know you have my back. I don’t have to wonder and worry about who is there for me. I know that I have written many times about the loneliness I experience as a mom of a child with extraordinary needs, but I know that I truly am never alone. You are always there. Always willing to lift me up.
You have made homemade meals and delivered them to our door when life was too crazy for me to even think. You have visited me in the hospital when our son was sick, carrying a large bottle of hazelnut coffee creamer to help me stay awake after sleepless nights. You have celebrated my birthday with me on the 5th floor at the children’s hospital with pizza and a helium balloon. You have called, texted, and private messaged prayers, good vibes, and all the positive energy you can muster when I have asked. You never disappoint.
Not only are you there for me in times of need you are eager to share in our times of joy. Milestones for children with developmental delay are extra special, and I can’t thank you enough for celebrating alongside us. When our joy is also yours this means the world to me. You get it. Thank you for loving our son. Thank you for looking past all of his diagnoses and seeing him, a beautiful, bright little boy.
A huge thank you and fist bump to the warrior moms in my tribe. I love our candid conversations about this life we are living. I love that I can say nothing at all and you know, you know what I am going through. I am so grateful to have you to share tears with when life is filled with sadness and loss. But more than that, the laughing-til-I-cry moments are everything. You and your children are priceless to me. You lift me up. You have helped me navigate this journey and for that I am eternally grateful.
There isn’t a word big enough. Thank you seems too small.
It takes a village. A tribe. A family. I love and appreciate each of you for being part of ours.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
*this blog originally appeared on Firefly