This weekend, as a mother I just met asked me for my number to get together with the kids, I realized that having a rainbow has changed my life in other ways than I anticipated. I didn’t anticipate that I would have the longing, want, and need to make friends with other moms for my daughter, Charly. As I walked out of the restaurant, I felt a little excited that I might have made a friend. That Charly may make a friend that is close to her age in a close proximity to us. On that drive home, all these other thoughts came to my mind.
One of the thoughts that I didn’t even think about until that drive home was that I would eventually need to tell this woman about Devyn and Jaxton. Then I started to panic about what she would think. Would she not want me to come around anymore? Would my daughter be excluded from a friendship because I need to make sure that all my children are accounted for? Will she pity me and stay around because she feels bad? Will this be a sympathy friend? If Charly and her daughter did stay friends for a couple years, would she not want her child to be around this type of loss? Would she want to protect her child from knowing that the world can be a sad place? The most painful reality was that my daughter’s social future was my responsibility.
8 months after my rainbow’s birth, I have realized that if I want to keep myself from those situations, I will negatively impact my daughter’s life. Charly will not be able to make her own friends for a few years. It’s not like I can just drop Charly off at someone’s house and say “Have fun. Pick you up later.” I have to be my daughter’s advocate. I have to be willing to put myself out there for my daughter to make friends and social skills. In order for my daughter to make friends, I will need to make friends.
I’m scared. I’m scared that I have to pretend to be someone that I’m not. I’m scared to open myself up to let people into my world. I have distanced myself from other mom’s at groups because of that gut wrenching feeling that these mom’s around me are not going to want to be around me when they find out. I’m scared of the forced conversation with the eyes darting back and forth where the mom is looking for an out. I’m scared that I won’t be accepted because I’m different.
As I think about all these fears, I know that it isn’t true for every mom I meet. Yes, there are always going to be the mom’s out there that don’t want to have a person like me in their life, but there are also the mom’s out there that have opened themselves up to me even after knowing about Devyn and Jaxton. What do I do, I still continue to distance myself. Even when some of these mom’s have helped me with raising Charly and supported my family with Devyn and Jaxton, I still didn’t let them in.
I have been a major advocate for Devyn and Jaxton. Showing people that you can love and parent a child even though they are dead. Now I need to be Charly’s advocate as well. Showing her that I will parent her and put all of her needs above my own. Even if those needs make me uncomfortable and scared.