I am just returning from a trip to see one of my dearest friends. She is someone I have known since my children were school-aged. She and I became friends right around the time that my child was struggling most. And I never found the need to explain.
I think of this friend as a true blessing, a kindred spirit, an angel in human form (no matter your religion, everyone has a word for this type of person). She is someone who entered my life at just the right time and was able to say just the words I needed to hear. She is compassionate, understanding and totally relatable. You see, parents like us feel like we are in the minority. Who might understand that my child seriously thought that she ate a paperclip or was too anxious to join in with the other children, playing, laughing, singing? And in her presence, I never found the need to explain.
She too has children who struggle with things that everyone might not understand. And while I am able to vent my inevitable frustration with one situation or another she predictably reminds me that brains are made differently and that is OK, totally acceptable, totally normalized. And I do the same on days that she needs to air her frustrations. And while we vent, neither of us finds a need to explain.
I moved far from this friend 13 years ago. And while I was sad to leave her and will likely never live in close proximity to her, I know that she is always there when I need her most. She is just a phone call or FaceTime away. Most of our conversations include few words. Sometimes all we say is that we needed to hear the other’s voice today of all days. And she and I both never find the need to explain.