As time goes by, as the twins get older and bigger and heavier, as I start to notice the odd grey hair (let’s face it, its miraculous I don’t have a head full)…things evolve.
Time brings about change and there have been many changes in my world since the twins arrived a few years back. The biggest change, one would think, is jumping from one child to three. In one day. That’s what happens and is the principle of a ‘buy one get one free’ situation: you didn’t set out to get multiples of one thing but it’s a lovely surprise when you get given them.
Without doubt, the biggest change has been adapting to raising children with special needs, something I was a complete rookie to and had to learn very much on the job. (I am doing ok though, I haven’t been sacked yet 😉) One life alteration which surprises others however, is when I talk about how the people in my life have changed purely as a result.
Let’s get this out there, get the negative stuff out the way. If I am speaking back to my ‘newly diagnosed self’ (the mummy I was when the twins were first poorly) I have to tell her, yep….there’s a few people who are gonna bolt. Along the way, maybe straight from the start (I’ve had both) -there will be some friends that liked being around the Haanagh before twins but not the Haanagh after.
I’ve thought long and hard about why that is. Many answers have run through my mind about why they chose to desert me, probably at the time I needed them the most. When the twins were diagnosed….they chose not to be my friend.
Let’s process that for a moment….
I couldn’t really find a solution to my questions. Certainly not for the person who messaged me ‘sorry’ and blocked me from all social media/phone contact so I never heard from her again. I could almost stretch to understand the person who text me to say she wouldn’t be contacting me again as ‘she couldn’t handle it’….until I had to remind myself it was me having to handle it and a cuppa with me once in a blue moon wouldn’t really require her to handle much of the heartache I possessed and the daily care that I had to provide my sons.
But as time has gone on, I have accepted that that’s ok. I haven’t missed them (much) so maybe I had to question how much they would have contributed to my life if they had stuck around. Goodness knows, I have needed to be surrounded by people who WERE up to the challenge of continuing to be my friend whilst my life turned upside down. So sure, I was no longer going to be that pal who could pop to the pub at an hours notice, or have a trip away without six months notice (so to organise care packages with more than military precision).
Perhaps, they couldn’t bear to see me so upset. Perhaps their hearts hurt for me too much. Perhaps it was easier to walk away. As a firm believer of dishing out the kindness, I hope it was those reasons….or….
Perhaps I was a less fun chum…perhaps I was just different. Perhaps my heart was forced into a different shape that would never quite heal so I became a less attractive prospect.
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter now as there’s only been a few and these no shows don’t really know what they are missing. (Firstly, as one used to borrow my shoes regularly and seeing as I have awesome ones, she’s missing out).
Mainly, the thing they are missing out on isn’t actually me. It’s two incredible little people who have so much to show the world. If they had stuck around they would have seen how much these two have to show the world about positivity, strength and determination. How they can make you laugh at the darkest time, their quirky ways, how they will see the beauty in anything, and how their smiles truly were worth the time and effort. Yes it’s a rocky road at times and goodness knows I’ve cried a river, yet they would see how those tears were often ones of pride and achievement and not always sadness and despair. But as it happened, if they weren’t truly on our team…then they wouldn’t truly understand how awesome my team members are. ❤️
As much as I have lost, I have gained ten fold. I have met people who have become firm friends and have been a support from the most unlikely of places. I have seen the sheer joy of lovely human nature in action. Friends online, friends of a similar life, friends to have coffee with and friends to have only wine with. Friends from my town and friends a plane ride away. Friends who know what to say. Friends who know when not to say anything. Lots of people in my life who weren’t there before twins. Welcomed with open arms.
Only this week, I have had countless messages of love and support through Reuben’s illness and when the tiredness got too intense, a text with a friendly word from a friendly face was more than appreciated.
I am blessed. I get to count the friends I have on my hands and run out of fingers many times. How lucky is that 😍
Everyone needs a girl tribe. I have the bestest of tribes. (One who shall not be named who even tried to kick my door in when she knew I was desperately sad one day. And she’s not even that strong…don’t tell her I said that).
So to my close and dearest of girls….(and a couple of boys) I must say to you a few things. Some I probably haven’t said before so here goes.
1. I appreciate you. I appreciate the texts and the messages and I know you’re there. So far I haven’t forgotten your birthdays or anything but if I ever fail to text you to wish you good luck on a job or similar, it’s not cos I don’t care, it’s mainly as my brain is made of mushy stuff that mainly consists of yesterday’s hospital appt.
2. Sometimes I’m jealous of you. There – didn’t expect that one did you?! I’m jealous of how you can have a lie in or sleep most of the night or just pop to the shop for a pint of milk without taking the equivalent of an medical equipment show room with you. I am jealous you get to go to work and speak to adult people and have a wee on your own. I was once that person. But I like hearing about your days, so tell me! It won’t stop me being envious of your trip to Tesco alone but tell me regardless.
3. Do not trivialise your worries to me. Everyone’s problems are relative…and if it’s important to you, it’s important to me. I want to be there and share this stuff with you. Don’t say ‘…it’s nothing like what you have to worry about but….’ as it gives me the rage 😉 A problem is a problem so please share. (Unless it’s about what coffee machine or something to buy…that’s not a real life problem 😉)
4. I’m sorry if I’m not always there. I’m very sorry. I will never get used to this. There’s a high chance I’m at some hospital or clinic or I have to stay home cos one of them are poorly. I can’t always get out to join in or be there at special or poignant occasions. But if I’m not there in body I’m there in spirit.
5. If you come round, there will be washing up in my sink and a house that’s a bit cluttered of medical stuff. Take us as you find us, and if in doubt, use said medical equipment as a place to stand your coffee I will ALWAYS be delighted to make you.
6. I’m not supermum. I don’t wear my pants on the outside of my trousers. I’m just getting by, like you, but I took the scenic route to motherhood…just because we have differences doesn’t mean we don’t have the same struggles. I hide the vegetables in pasta sauce to make them eat it too 😉
7. My life with my twins may drain my energy and take me to the edge of worry. But I will always have space in my mushy brain for you. Day or night.
8. Thank you. Thank you for getting excited about my sons’ new wheels or the fact they fed themselves 7 years later than the average child. Thank you for listening to me drone on about lack of resources and my fights for what they need. Thank you for celebrating the small things or picking me back up when getting up was hard. Thank you for crying with me. Thank you for giving my sons the time they need to get their words out. Thank you for their carefully selected presents and for cooking at their birthday parties. Thank for your acceptance, for your tolerance of their anger and frustration. Thank you for not leaving when things get tough. Thank you for googling the medical words when you didn’t know what they meant. Thank you for the little cards through the post. Thank you for trying to see the world through their eyes. Thank you for not leaving.
For you, you made the effort and it shall never ever go unnoticed. You did when some others didn’t.
Thank you for making my life yours and for your understanding as I make my way through a life I never expected.