I am a mother of three boys and one girl, my youngest son Walker is developmentally delayed with no diagnosis, I am divorced and re-married, living life as I never imagined. I may be cynical, but I try to see the world as it is.... no frills but plenty of laughs.
I have been back to work for almost a month now, and I must say it is so good for my soul! Three years ago I stopped working and concentrated on being a mother to my very special son. I didn't know at the time just how special he was, I just knew that I couldn't comprehend leaving him in the hands of anyone else. But I'm not really good at my job as a stay at home mom Its hard to be, when you feel like its a prison sentence. People don't understand that its has nothing to do with my love of my children, husband or home. It has everything to do with my love for me. I am not trivializing the women that adore their job as mom, honestly, I just don't think i cut the mustard. So with my lack of self confidence as a provider for them full time, I need outside confirmation of my worth. I also just love to interact with the general public and take away those experiences to make me a better mom. The store that I am working at has a very ecliptic merchadise line and so are is the clientele. Its amazing to me how comfortable people feel when they walk through our doors and share their lives with us. Although my home life is not a big secret, I chose not to share that I have a special needs child often because I don't want that to be my definition. Yet, I can't help but be shaped by it and those that I meet.
Two weeks ago a women came to the store in search of Bob Marley things. She was looking for her adult son who has autism. She was so proud to talk about a TV show called The World of Jenks.The show featured her son and what its like to live with autism. I wrote down the name and went home and DVR'd it. What impressed me was how open and honest she was with us by telling us how uncomfortable she initially was with having a TV crew in her apartment and how worried she was about how her son would react. Later that week I was able to see the episode and it was great!
A week ago I met a woman in the store that was shopping for her daughter. She was enjoying Sawyer's antics around the store, touching all the jewelry and pulling things off the shelves. We got talking about her life as a single mom and I was really feeling like I could relate to her. She went on to tell me about her ex husband and how he now has remarried and has a son with CP. She told me that the boy was really sweet but for her ex, what goes around comes around. I wasn't mad, I just took in the information and let it settle. It really has settled in! I have been mulling this over in my head for the past week, wondering if there are many people that think this? Do people truly believe that when a child with special needs is born, its because of some karmic force affecting the parents? then I realized, of course they do! Parents who have special needs children think about this as well! I honestly have wondered if there was something in my life or past lives that triggered this outcome for him. I know in my head that this is not the case, but emotions can run high when it comes to matters of the heart.
Yesterday I had a father and son come in looking to get tie-dye t-shirts for their friends overseas. The father was in his 60's and the son was in his 40's. As we went through the racks the son hung back and just looked around the store. After selecting the shirts that he wanted, the father handed them to his son and said please hold. His son replied "please hold, please hold". I then recognized that he was mentally retarded. After they left, I couldn't stop thinking about him and wondering if one day that could be Walker. I would love to be able to take him shopping and have him pick out his own tie-dye shirt!
The atmosphere in the store is one of tolerance and compassion. I take my home to work and my work home. Its a great fit and it feeds my soul.