Having a child with special needs opens your eyes to a lot of things you might not have noticed otherwise. This post is about different types of people I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with – some I never would have known, and some whom were there all along – equated to Harry Potter characters (because, why not?).
Mrs. Weasley is a WORRIER. She is forever concerned about your mental state, your safety, and if you’re eating enough. At times it can be a bit overbearing – there is a chance when you told a Mrs. Weasley about your child’s diagnosis, she cried more than you did. But it all comes from a place of love. Mrs. Weasley will ALWAYS be there for you.
This person is a blast from the past, someone you never had any idea would be a part of your life again. And then suddenly, although you haven’t spoken since high school, they are popping up through the fireplace (okay, maybe on Facebook) to tell you how much they are rooting for your family. And WOW does it feel good to know they are in your corner.
The researcher. No time for moping about, there is work to do! This is the friend who is sending you information on everything they can find on your child’s condition, therapies and resources. When you’re so overwhelmed you’re not sure what to do next, rely on your Hermiones.
Gilderoy Lockhart (before we realized he’s awful)
Ah, Gilderoy Lockhart, always smiling and never quite grasping the seriousness of the situation. The friend who keeps saying “but she’ll be okay, right?” Gilderoy Lockharts aren’t too bad to have around – sometimes they make you feel that a rare chromosomal diagnosis is no harder to deal with than a cage full of cornish pixies!
I’ve run into a lot of wise people over the last three years, but the wisest of the wise I hereby dub Dumbledores. Always there with a calm demeanor and steady advice when you’ve been entered into a tournament you are far too inexperienced to play in. The therapists and doctors who make you want to crawl onto their laps and cry like a baby because they are actually helping you when it seems like no one could…but you won’t, because you’re far too tough for that.
Striving to be a Dumbledore, the Cornelius Fudges are the professionals whose leadership never seems to be right for you. They have good intentions, but at the end of the day, the ministry has to let them go (the ministry = you).
The George Weasleys of the world are obviously the jokers! People who are able to make you laugh about this crazy situation. An example of my George Weasley – one day I was throwing myself a pity party, talking with two friends about how much harder it was for me to be a parent than for the majority of my peers. George Weasley said to me, with a completely straight face, “I’m pretty sure I have a more difficult life than you.” I stared at her, incredulous…and then she burst out laughing. And I did too. Not all people could have gotten away with a joke like that, but with a George Weasley, somehow it’s okay.
The Grey Lady
This is one of the sadder characters on our list. Grey ladies are ghosts. They’re almost impossible to find. When you get your diagnosis, somewhere in the back of your mind exists this list of people who you think you will rely on. Grey Ladies are on this list, and then poof, they are gone faster than a ghost through a Hogwarts wall. Don’t let Grey Ladies get you down, they exist in all walks of life. This just happens to be the one you are on.
Your steady. The one who knows when to listen to you vent, when to talk parenting with you, and when all you need is someone to sit calmly by you in a train compartment while you eat your feelings. Treat your Rons to a chocolate frog every now and then – even though they’d never ask for one.
Cedric Diggory (before his untimely demise)
Cedric Diggorys are a little bit older, a little bit more experienced, and a LOT bit amazing. Cedric Diggorys are other special needs parents. People whose children are in their teens, who are smart and inspiring, and you aspire to be like them – because you are sure they can do anything.
The Mirror of Erised
Granted this is not a person, but it applies. You could spend your life thinking about what could have been. And miss the wonderful things in the life you have. As THE Dumbledore says “It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.”
That was fun! Anyone I missed? Now…how can I make a post combining special needs parenting and all ten seasons of FRIENDS (I kid, I kid…or do I???).
Mrs. Weasley gif courtesy of http://gifhuntmaker.tumblr.com/post/129169627289/julie-walters-on-harry-potter
Dumbledore gif courtesy of http://lifeandliesofanawkwardfangirl.tumblr.com/post/128535300135/a-few-of-my-favorite-dumbledore-quotes