My Sisterhood

Posted on: April 10, 2012

Picture this…

You’re in the bank and the waiting line is loooong. You just couldn’t avoid going in today and as luck would have it your child, who gets upset by crowds and noise, is with you. As soon as you opened the door and saw all those faces you held your breath. Your child starts making a certain noise, not quite a scream but you know there’s one not far away – You whisper to them soothingly; “I’m sorry honey but mom has to do this now”. Then you start reciting the lines from “The Smartest Giant in Town”, one of his favorite story books. This appears to be working for now. You’re at the end of the line.

Your child is beginning to get a bit agitated. He’s now putting his hands over his ears and closing his eyes but for some reason he can sense every time the door opens and closes because he opens his eyes to look – He doesn’t particularly look at the person coming though; more just watching it open and close. It’s almost as if it’s interrupting whatever he’s trying to concentrate on. For now you’re just relieved that he’s not screaming at the top of his lungs. Ok… A bank employee is headed your way – You’ve finally mustered up the courage to ask if you can “jump the line”. Just as soon as you’re about to open your mouth you hear a LOUD SHREIK! It’s your kid. The security guard is locking the door. The bank is closed. You want to shout…NOOOOOOOO! And for a second you think you did but nothing actually came out of your mouth – It was just hanging open. The employee stops and asks… “Miss, is everything ok? Can you get him to quiet down?” By this time you have the attention of just about everyone in the place.

Your kid is still screaming and many of the onlookers are “shooting daggers” at you. You can hear some clearly reciting the chapter; “If That Was Me… Anyway My Kid Would Never Do That!” – Taken from their “I’m A Better Parent than You Manual”. You go on to explain to the employee that your kid has special needs and he gets upset by crowds and  right now he’s being over-stimulated and you want to know if it’s at all possible for you to get your transaction done now. Your kid is still screaming. The employee’s response to you (not really answering your question); “I’m so sorry Miss but you will have to take him outside if he doesn’t stop screaming. You’re response; “YOU’RE SORRY! What exactly are you sorry for? That you don’t seem to give a shit or that now, after standing in line for what seems like eternity you now want me to take my kid outside? Which one is it?” Yes… You said all that… In your head though.

At the same time a lady taps you on the shoulder and says… “I’m up next you can take my spot. You stare at her and your eyes well-up. You can’t bring yourself to utter any words but she knows you’re thanking her and its coming from the kindest place in your heart. She touches your arm and says to you quietly… “I have a daughter with autism, I know how it goes.”

This is the bond of the sisterhood – A sort of exclusive club – A club that chose me. If I had the choice I never would have chosen to join it but now I’m bound by a deep connection. That “THING” you feel when you meet someone else who has a child with special needs.

The conversations are easy. This mom gets “it” and you can just talk without a ton of explanation.

The excitement you feel when you hear their kid did something awesome. You know what that feeling is like and you want it for them as much as you want it for yourself.

The mom at the church you were invited to (by a friend) who comes looking for you after you’ve taken your child outside to burn-off-some-steam. She says to you; “I know the feeling but don’t feel pressured to leave, the message is for him too.”

The tight hug you gave to the mom you just met in person for the first time but to whom you’ve spoken to for hours on the phone – Revealing stuff you’ve never broached with some of your closest friends. A mutual friend put both of you in contact.

Laughter and sometimes tears, this sisterhood of women nourishes my soul in ways that only those who are familiar with the truth of my circumstances can.

These are the ties that bind us.

I’m so thankful for all of you. I don’t know how I would do it otherwise.



18 Responses to "My Sisterhood"

ah yes, the blessed sisterhood. on my blog’s ‘about’ page, it says the following ..

because it is a sense of community that makes the good times sweeter for the sharing and the hard times more bearable for knowing that we’re not alone.

it’s become my mantra. without this village, i’d be lost.

thanks for reaching out. xoxo

Awww… You’re so right. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

I kid you not!!

Today I went to APUA’s head office to pay my bill. The lines were long but what was different for me was that they moved very very slowly. i’ve been in the lines there many times and you’d get through in good time. today they had new tellers!

Anyways a cute toddler came in and ran across a bout 3 times. Just in fron where customers would go to the tellers. What I noticed about her was that she was like my first born, very strong at running/walking but didn’t have a lot of teeth. so I figured she’s around 2 yrs old. What I liked about her was how happy she was. And then I noticed too that she wasn’t speaking clearly so it confirmed to me that she really was a toddler, couldn’t past 3 yrs.

she was touching things! she danced around the metal stand that holds the cue ropes together. There was a big poster of an employee with a great huge smile and she attempted to count her teeth. she got up to five.

I was happy that this child came in to distract me since the man that was right behind of me was just killing me. He came too close so I had to stick my bill and cheque book out from me to keep him out of my personal space. and he would check his watch every minute and then cuss under his breath. Soon people started shouting at the tellers Wait, ah wah gwarn man. ….
the toddler had touched a tall display fromthe window that nearly came down on her but her Mom quickly reached for it. It was a plastic display. {I’m trying to get to the point here, just a sec}
A man started saying …obviously she isn’t an Antiguan parent. Up to now she hasn’t even spoken to the child and so he went on. I felt myself getting hot! he then stared talking to us now. Well he was getting on his high horse and speaking louder about how children are to be disciplined. Hhow they are to behave. I said to him come on man. you are an adult and you really should know better. when you come in here you wil know how to behave but do you really expect a child to just stand and keep still. we are in her for how long. and the worse thing is that you say this child is a nusiance. how is she being a nusiance to you. tell me. And so you know how to be a good parent, so what you would have your child on a leash. The lady next to him who was in full agreement said that if it was her child the look that she would have given her child, right away her child would have just sat down.
I said you really need to read up on autism and really stop judging people. then he said well maybe nusaince is a bit harsh. my response was, you think… Really an arguement developed between me and this man. Another lady that said that the child was cute was not saying nothing has happened so why was he being so harsh.
I pretty much said there are many behaviour disorder so you can’t assume it’s bad parenting.

He and the lady soon spoke in whisphers as they talked about parents and others who encouraged bad behaviour would regret it. then the lady even went on to talk about the child’s mother saying it’s no wonder. At that I just smiled. It hadn’t registered as yet.
{Didn’t mean to be so long}

Sadly, unfortunately, (somebody give me another “ly”) “it” never registers until they’re in the same predicament and sometimes even then “it” never manifests because it’s been replaced by fear, guilt, shame.

Thanks for sharing Barbara.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from LIME.

SC this one touched me alot because I most likely would have been one of those customers saying in my mind – the child is just rude. Thanks for opening my eyes, continue educating us. Love you girl.

I try (hard) not to be too judgmental myself when folks assume that certain behaviors are intentional. Although it’s hard when you’re in the middle of the meltdown. Usually, once someone is not mean when they ask questions I take the time to engage them because I see it creating more awareness about autism. However sometimes, just as I’m sure Kuba wants to be left alone during a meltdown, I too want to be left alone – Especially if that person is acting like an ass. See… I guess I’m judgmental after all. Thanks for your honesty and for being open to a different point of view. Love you right back 🙂

Salma, as always, I enjoy reading your articles. Even though I don’t have an “official” diagnosis I know what it’s like…. You continue to keep it real whether we laugh or cry with you and Kuba. Nine alreay, wow!

Almost ten now… 🙂 Thanks “B”

At times in thought it comes to me †̥ђά̲̣̣†̥ many of us have lost †̥ђά̲̣̣†̥ genuine love. Love †̥ђά̲̣̣†̥ understands, love †̥ђά̲̣̣†̥ accept without reference pure genuine love †̥ђά̲̣̣†̥ God blessed us with but which many have lost in pursuing whatever. It is because of this why one is quick to judge, quick to anger, quick to cast stones. SC God has blessed you with Kuba, he is ‎​ɑ̤̥̈̊ blessing to you on so many levels, he has thought you to be patient, he has reminded you what it truly means to love. We can all get carried away and loose sight on what life is really about, God knew what he was doing when he blessed you with Kuba.

You know I’ve seen others run from their calling, run when they are given their purpose to fulfill. I’m proud of you, I’m filled with joy to see you answered God’s calling even though at times Ʊ may feel overwhelmed feel like screaming yourself, you draw on †̥ђά̲̣̣†̥ strength we are all blessed with and you push on. God bless you SC.
Love you both hon.

Thanks hon. I know some of you are not parents of a child with special needs but like I’ve said before you’re still a part of my sisterhood. Love you right back “M” 🙂

I’m not a biological mommy…yet. But when I do, whether or not my child/children is/are special needs, I hope that I am embraced in a “sisterhood” with as much strength and resilience as these moms – ESPECIALLY YOU SALMA – have.

I thoroughly enjoy the articles and your blog. Both bring me into your world, a world I’d otherwise have sidestepped or glossed over, unless seen in an advertisement or via any one of my reading forums. Autism is real, and so are the children and families affected by it. There is no amount of reading material that can fully prepare one for the onslaught of “situations” that come with it. But, where there’s life, there’s hope. AND I KNOW THAT SALMA HAS THE ABILITY TO DEAL WITH THIS LIFE. Bless you and your “Prince of Drama”aka “The Lion King” aka Kuba. He’s a rarity. And bless all parents of “special” children… And, always believe in their ABILITY to smile through it all.

Thanks for the boost to my confidence. My “sisterhood” is open for all who want to promote a better life for kids with special needs

This brought tears to my eyes Salma….but you’re a strong woman and even more a stronger mom xoxoxo

Thanks Anique… Not for crying. I don’t want you to cry 🙂 but I just want people to open up their minds and realize that everything is not always as it seems. And I want other moms to realize that they’re not alone

Salma, Salma, bring back the humour…..this and the other article in Observer brought me close to tears. But as always, I thoroughly enjoyed your “voice”.

Funny you should say that… I’ve been accused of making light of the seriousness of special needs. It’s something I want to address but not quite sure how to yet. Thanks for the feedback

Girl so happy to be a part of the sisterhood. Really good and though provoking article… I hope all will read as this may give them food for thought the next time they have a “special” encounter. This may very well be the change agent of the response we will now get…! Great job girl!

Thanks Leslie. After my first article I got quite a few responses. One of them was an email from a mom in the UK whose friend sent her the article – Her son was recently diagnosed with Autism. She told me my article helped her a lot. It just reminded me how far apart we were yet so close – And the same way she felt by my article is the same way I felt/still feel when I meet/talk to parents… That bond…

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