I started thinking about this topic of friendship as I watched Elizabeth text one of her friends to plan an outing.

I love the excited way she looks when she does this. Just like we feel, as adults, when we are meeting a friend for coffee and long needed catch up time.

I started thinking about this whole friendship thing when I watched Elizabeth text her friend to set up a time to meet and pick up dinner. I love watching her manage her schedule and text herself ( and trust me, we have worked SO hard on both of these things!)

But what I loved the most was that she knows this person likes her for who she is.

This person wants to spend time with her.

This person has told Elizabeth that she is fun to be around.

This person is a friend.

But here is the thing and it is something we stress to Elizabeth. We tell her that you can have friends of any age. And that just because someone is older or younger or someone from work, does not mean that they cannot be a friend.

So to be honest, 2 of the people who Elizabeth calls dear friends began their relationship with her as therapists many years ago. And now, they are friends by both their admissions.

It is really pretty great.

They care about one and other, text one and other and enjoy the time they hang out together.

I don’t know about you but I have friends that vary greatly in age. I have beloved friends who are “a bit older than me” and I have ones who say that same phrase, only about ME!

Really, they just have to care about you.

And something that Elizabeth has learned in life is that friends can walk into your life, join you in a part of your life’s journey. Sometimes they walk a long, long time with you and sometimes they walk a little bit.

But that it is still all a good thing as they are still sharing their friendship with you as they walk with you.

I think sometimes for those of us with children with special needs, we fear the lonely lunch table for our kids or the birthday parties that they don’t always get invited to or ones that only one person shows up for.

And I get that. I truly, whole heartedly do. Elizabeth has special needs, specifically, SPD or Sensory Processing Disorder and Global Dyspraxia. She has had to work hard in life everyday. And the concept of friends and friendships and what it means to be a friend has had to be taught to her many times over when she was young.

So I do get it.

I guess I am just thinking that sometimes as we want so much for our special needs children to have the friends we hope they will have, we need to see that if a friend comes along in the form of a therapist or neighbor or or or….they are still a friend. And they will bring the gifts of a friendship just like any other to your child.

I rejoice in the friends Elizabeth has now and those who were part of her journey in the past.

A friend can take any shape and can arrive in a way no one expects.

I hope someone needed to read this today.

I wish everyone a peaceful week and please wear a mask. And if you haven’t already gotten one…Please get a vaccine.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes In Herself