Thursday, March 20, 2008

Heroes Needed

"We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.
It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem."
Then there are those who see the need and respond.
I consider those people my heroes."
~~ Fred Rogers
American Television Host and Producer


  1. I loved Mr. Rogers. That's a lovely picture of your son.

  2. I couldn't agree more with Mr. Rodgers.

    My struggle is knowing how to be a hero, and to whom. Obviously my family, my boys, and certainly God leads us to serve according to our gifts and His will. But, when it comes to special needs particularly, I find myself somewhat at a loss. How? I just don't know...

    There is a family in our church who have two daughters with autism. The demands are high and so are the needs. Because of the stage of life that I'm in it seems I have don't have much to offer them other than friendship. I find myself hoping that for now friendship is enough and perhaps in the future I'll be more able to serve them in other ways.

    I would love to hear what others have done to encourage you, your family, and your boys.

  3. mod girl really captured my thoughts as well. please share, betsy, if you get a chance.

  4. Modgirl (and Ruth!) ~ I think the most important thing you can do for that family is to befriend them! That mom needs friends! It really doesn't take much to encourage, either. If you just told her that you pray for her that you know she really has her hands full will mean a lot.

    I had someone tell me once that they had no idea I was struggling because I always had a smile on my face and seemed to have everything together. But there are very dark days...not every day...but many! And if they are like me, they are most times "hanging by a thread" emotionally, without any reserves left to handle any other pressures.

    And befriend the little girls, too, if you can. One thing people do is act like the kids are invisible (or deaf!). Not to be rude, but I think they feel uncomfortable and don't know what to say, so the autistic child can easily be ignored. If you only say hi and extend your hand, it will be the beginning of a connection they have with you. My boys love suckers and I did have one friend who always made sure she had a sucker in her purse for them. It's such a little thing, but really meant a lot to me that she would show up at my house to say hi, but would have thought about my boys, too.

    Our big struggle seems to be in finding babysitters for us. And like you said, at the stage of life you are in, it isn't realistic right now. I try to find other mom's who don't have young children of their own. But it's a process in being able to watch an autistic child. Someone can't just walk in and babysit. They need to spend time with that family, get to know the autistic child and become familiar with how a variety of situations are handled...especially if they are nonverbal, like my guys. We had many people willing to watch our boys when they were younger, but as they entered their teens, it's not as fun, I guess....and awkward, I know, to care for someone physically bigger than you. And helping them in the bathroom or to get dressed is just uncomfortable for most people. But if you do little things now to get to know them, you could eventually be a babysitter if that is something you are interested in.

    Just the little bit about you that I know, you would be a wonderful encouraging friend! :) Just be yourself ~ and let her know that you care. ....and maybe a plate of your wonderful cupcakes would brighten her day! ;)

  5. Betsy: Your words are eloquent and inspiring. You have given me much to think about. For the challenges you face you are so obviously a wonderful mother and remarkable woman.

  6. Blog Princess ~ thank you! See, a few encouraging words and you made my day. :)

  7. Thanks, Betsy, for the honest, thought provoking response. My brain has been ticking today over how I can be more of a friend to our friends and their girls. I suspect that the mother often feels just as you describe -- she is always smiling and laughing but I know there are times when despite a happy countenance she is just clinging.

  8. my eyes are burning with tears...not tears of pity...but tears of respect and love...

  9. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I will pray for opportunity to befriend. Hope you had a very blessed Easter, Betsy!


I'm serving coffee! Stay and chat!
And no awards, please! Your comments are my awards!