The gift of a beautiful friendship

31 May

A few days back I met up with one of my good friend’s for a spot of shopping and a catch up. 

It was during this catch up that I released how lucky I am to have this friend in my life!  Here’s why…

In adult life friendships can be hard things to maintain. Its thought to be even harder when only one of the two friends is a parent, which is the case for us!

This is often true for many, including me! What with the pressures being a parent brings…  It’s a time consuming task that leaves little room for socialising. Its sad but true that for many this type of friendship don’t last the course. 

This is even possible for some of the strongest friendships, those that have been maintained since childhood! Do you remember the days spent with that best friend who you swore would be your best friend forever? You know the one… You swore you would move to a foreign country with, share a flat with, be bridesmaid at her wedding, godmother to her children, and finally grow old and die with! There is a good chance that you haven’t seen nor spoke to that special someone for a very long time.

 It’s not only the factor of starting a family or getting married that sees such great friendships flounder, but also the changing interest you acquire as you sail through the different stages of your life!

Some of my closest childhood friendships have been lost through the years… and yes, many were lost when one of us started a family! Still, It should be noted that I haven’t only lost friendships with childless friends, but those who like me have at least popped out one child… In my case three!  After all… it’s a busy job being mum!

So, what happens when you throw autism into the mix? One friend not only starts a family but one of her children ends up being on the autism spectrum or has some other form of disability/special need? If the above is true, surely this leaves little hope of friendship survival!  

Sadly many of my own friendships just haven’t made it past the finish line! In all honesty, I properly only have a few that have. 

And guess what?

These are friendships I have with friends who don’t yet have children, bringing me back to the reason I consider myself a very lucky mummy!

As I sat with my friend discussing the Ins & outs of my youngest child’s tantrums, my daughters developing “attitude” and little mans offer of a school placement, I could tell that my friend was totally engaged with what it was I had to say! By now some of my friends would be checking their mobiles & making their excuses! Fortunately this isn’t the case with Donna!

You read a lot about the child with Aspergers not being able to make or maintain friendships, sadly this is all to often the case for the child’s parents too! Its something you read far less about, who wants to admit that as a grown arse woman you struggle to make or maintain friendships! Well, I’m not ashamed to state that, “Yes I find it extremely bloody hard!” Why?  Many people Just fail to understand Little man and a good nine times out of ten, they just can’t cope with his challenging ways! 

As for the aspect of making friends, this never seems to happen when out and about with the children. Fellow parents tend to look at myself & Little man before turning to gossip with the mothers in their group. Its like a whole room of eyes just on you! Have you ever felt that, the feeling that the whole room is looking at you? I have! Its something I feel daily! Every time I reach the school gate, go to the park or take the children to the soft play area. I feel it because normally the whole room is looking at me! 

Myself & little man can clear an entire park with our presence!  Oh yer… We could properly put you out of business, clearing almost any child friendly event presented to us. Does this make me sad! It breaks my bloody heart every-time I think about it. 

Do you know who makes me feel better at times like these? Donna! That’s the beauty of friendship!

Donna is like my sidekick, my backbone if you like, she keeps me strong and smiling. Donna isn’t just a friend who listens with real interest but supports and encourages me in anything I do… no matter how crazy (and I can be pretty crazy at times). She was by my side through Little man’s diagnosis, has attended & supported me through two court case’s when Little man was a school refuser, she has been there for nearly every meeting with his old mainstream school or the LEA, and she even attended the early bird course as she herself wanted to learn more!

One of my happier moments to our friendship was the day she held my hand as I pushed my youngest child into the world some eighteen months back. (Donna would likely state that held her hand I did not, referring to it as more of a squeeze that was so tight I almost cut of her blood circulation.) 

Donna is a woman who isn’t scared to share a day out with me and my children. (Even when I’ve arrange a sitter she encourages me to bring them along.) Donna has been present during some of little mans most challenging meltdowns, yet she’s never ran away leaving me to it, she’s encountered the stares form the public, chased Little man across a massive heath (yes he was determined to escape on a bus!), she’s talked him across a bridge when he was to frighten to move, she’s even patiently listens to his non-stop bus talk & constant singing of Bruno Mars hits! But best and most importantly of all… she loves and excepts him for the little boy that he is!

How amazing is that!! 

Post dedicated to my friend Donna Jordan to show my appreciation at having her in my life 

5 Responses to “The gift of a beautiful friendship”

  1. jennie June 5, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    A wonderful tribute to and celebration of your friend, Donna. I have real trouble making and keeping friends. I always have had. I am not sure why. I have a best friend now who I have known for 6 years and this one is a sticker! She is my best friend, Godmother to my children and Maid of Honour at my wedding. She works as a one to one support for a severely autistic boy in Year 1 of a mainstream school. That is how we met actually. She was my teaching assistant when I first started teaching. She is amazing and I love her with all my heart. She is my Donna x

  2. Jamie June 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Oh Claire your writing is beautiful and I would be so touched if this was wrote to me. Donna sounds amazing, a really good friend.

  3. Leonie Blows June 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Yep, my friend Meg is like that. We met when we were ten. We never shared a flat, or moved to a foreign country, but I was her bridesmaid, and am godmother to her son.

    And when I got my Asperger’s diagnosis, she said something like, “Yeah, and…?” I had always assumed my friends were simply those who tolerated my autism; it had never occurred to me that anyone could like me *because* of it. She does.

    Life has put other divides between us, but we are still in regular touch, and if we met up tomorrow, there would be no awkward silences.

    Here’s to those friends. The Donnas and the Megs. I only wish I could be as good a friend in return.

  4. Katie May 31, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Wow, What a beautiful post.


  1. Business and friendship « kansas reflections - June 23, 2011

    […] The gift of a beautiful friendship ( […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: