So I spend a great deal of time behind the wheel of my car driving my children around and truthfully, I love the time I get to ride with them because we talk and joke around, play music etc…

Some of this drive time is spent taking Elizabeth to and from college.

She is in a college certificate program for special needs.  She and I use this time to talk, review her day, talk about what to do if this or that happens and about our plans for the evenings and so on.

One of the “what to do” scenarios involves what she is to do if she needs help on campus, who does she call etc. This leads us to do a phone check to make sure that she is not in air plane mode. For some reason, she has been known to place her phone into that mode and we all know that effectively stops all calls and then effectively puts her at risk if she needs help or I need to reach her.

So to do this phone check, I usually call her, using my Bluetooth in my car.  She is about 6 inches from me, so when she answers we get this echo-y feedback. And when she says “hello” it sounds like she is saying it 4 times, then when I talk back we hear my words about 4 times.  She usually laughs when we do this and her laughing makes me laugh.

Well today, when we did the phone check, she must have said something that struck her as extra funny and she laughed more than other days and looked up at me and said “Mom, I just really love you so much”  and she reached over to hug me.  I told her how much I loved her and then I looked and saw her smiling, and then heard her say ” We have so much fun together.”

That smile was amazing, her words were heartwarming and her feelings meant the world to me.

But it wasn’t always this way…..

Years ago, I was not the person she had fun with.

No, that was saved for her tutor, Roe-Roe or the aides at school.  Even the bus driver….practically everyone BUT me.

Years ago, I was the person who saw the breakdowns and meltdowns.

I was the one with whom she took her frustrations out on.  I wrote about it in my book.  She was in third grade and as she got off the bus, she morphed from laughing to practically growling as she walked the length of the driveway to me.

With her sensory processing disorder (SPD),  I learned that:

-I was her safe person to unload these emotions on.

-I was the one with whom she felt the safest to let go after she had held it together all day.

-I was the one who she knew would always be there, the one she could really lean on.

While knowing this was helpful, it really  didn’t make the hurt easier for my heart, it just helped it make sense.

I know we put a sensory diet into place in school for her to help regulate her emotions and we put an emotions chart where we could see it to help her talk about her feelings.

We chatted.

We prayed.

We worked hard.

And somehow we made our way through this tough, tough time.

I thought maybe I would share this story today to offer to someone who maybe needs to know that others have gone through what they are going through.

To offer hope.

I hope my story today helped someone!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of:

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself:  The Special Journey Continues