Post from the hubby:
Friendship is an evolving process. When we were younger in our marriage, we were part of a large group of friends that grew up together as teens. Our daughter, for the first five years, grew up with our friends’ children. For many circumstances and reasons, we all drifted apart from each other. Some moved away, others had conflict with one-another, and some marriages broke, which made it even more difficult.
Now that we are in our forties and raising our little monkey, friendship has taken a new meaning. And although we do keep in touch with some of our older friends, we have gained some new friends in the last ten years that helped us understand just how special friendship is. The ironic part is that most of our friends are single and have no children by a few exceptions. One of our friends in our social group are married with two boys.
They all love my son. They make every attempt to gage him when they come to our house by lifting him, hugging him, dancing with him, and even following him around when he is trying to get away from them. Our friends celebrate every little step with us and understand him because they take the time to know him. Sometimes he even surprises them.
This morning our “couple” friends were visiting and their boys were here. The little one tried to engage our monkey but had little luck. The older boy acknowledges our son and understands that he is a special needs child. When they were leaving, our monkey ran to our friend Gloria and hugged her with so much passion. She was surprised and moved by this and kept hugging him with no intentions of letting him go. We were all surprised, and even more when he let go of her and hugged her oldest son (8) with the same energy. The little guy, too, was surprised and then proceeded to hug him back. Then he lets go of him and the monkey hugs the dad as well. Gloria was so happy to see this and we all celebrated this moment with so much happiness.
Our little monkey is surrounded by these friends who love him profoundly. They’ve seen when things get difficult, when he is having meltdowns, and know that he has unique challenges. They often worry about his health and make so much effort to accommodate him when we are at their home visiting. They love my son when he is at his challenging times and celebrate him when he does things like today. These friends and their friendships mean so much to us because they are contributors to our family.
Autism has many challenges. But it becomes a little easier when you have friends like these.❤️