I started this whole bloggy thing back in May of 2013. My first "official" blog hop was the very next month, and while many things have changed in my daily life since then, I've managed to keep right on blogging. This turns out to be both a blessing and a curse, though, as time goes by. Between blog hops and networking and #gtchat, I've found an incredible number of other bloggers who, like me, are raising these very interesting and challenging children, and who not only have similar lives in some respects, but for whom I have a lot of respect, and feel a great deal of both admiration and kinship. Unfortunately, those very same people are spread all over the world, and regrettably, most live a minimum of double-digit driving distance from my front door.
Given how rare gifted children are, particularly those anecdotally like Mad Natter, it has been extremely difficult to make friends. Add in the fact that I am gifted as well, and had difficulty making friends before this extremely challenging child entered my life? It's very lonely in my daily life. Happily, every Tuesday we see a group of Skeeve's friends from his high school's G/T program (who have been his friends since ages ago), and we all sit and play games and heckle each other - but Skeeve and I are the only ones with any children (Stellar Mama skypes in for this, but she and Girl Friday are so far away now it's not really the same). So it works on a basic level, but as for finding friends who are parenting... It's more complicated.
It's so relieving to see and communicate with other families like ours. It's such a gift to realize we're not alone at all, that there are others who are going through the same sorts of challenging things we are. It's been nothing short of lifesaving to talk to other people who will understand what I mean when I talk about teaching fifth grade science, third grade math, kindergarten handwriting, and having to teach appropriate relational skills... while having only one child. It's been wonderful to not have to explain that, nor the energy, imagination, drama, and general crazy - while also not having to explain that no, this is not a behavioral issue, thank-you-very-much.
But, oh, the sting. The sting of it is that I can't call up Mrs Warde to go for coffee (tea). I can't take Mad Natter to visit with Cait's Leo. I did have the wonderful opportunity to visit with Jen once, for a few hours, but one visit in two years? Ouch. Having others around me, including those who have gone before, is wonderful, and I wouldn't trade it. But wow, it really does hurt when you realize these wonderful people who are so much like you... You may live out your entire life never knowing them beyond words and pictures on a screen. It's hard. It really is. But honestly? It's worth it.