So as I said here, I am looking forward to doing special little shoots this summer featuring friendships that foster the inclusion that I want for my child as well as all her friends. I feel like this summer project will open minds, start conversations and foster new relationships for Mamas and for their children. I believe this because I know that being the Mom behind a child who happens to have a disability I have the fear of rejection and that fear that causes tears sometimes. I also believe this because I am the Mom behind the child that does not have a disability and there is fear there too. It is the fear of the unknown, the fear of what if I say the wrong thing? I want my daughter to have what my boys have, open and real friendships with no limitations. I believe that the only way we can have this is if Mamas from both sides come together and communicate, answer questions and teach each other the best way to teach our children how to love everyone all the time.
I also know that in order for my daughter to have those same relationships I have to let her. I have to pull up my “Mommy Jeans” and give her a go get em’ nudge. Fear doesn’t foster anything. In many ways this little summer project is to educate myself on the powers of different kinds of friendships!
I hope these images encourage Moms of all children to “be the one” to foster and teach their children how to extend love and a helping hand. Our children are the seed and we give them what they need to grow into beautiful beings. I hope we can all create children who are comfortable with themselves and all the other children around them. We want inclusion all the time and that will only happen if we work at it.
So meet Sami, Melanie and Lauren! Three beautiful and uniquely made girlies that are friends. They are best friends…..can you see it?
From Melanie’s mom, Cindy:
Melanie, Lauren and Sami play together every day. One day, Melanie stayed with me to eat lunch and when we were done I took her out to the playground to line up with her class. She looked around and ran right over to Sami and Lauren and they laughed and giggled and ran all around (even though they were really supposed to be lining up). At the beginning of the year, Melanie had a hard time with Sami wanting to hold her hand and hugging her. We worked on using words like, “Sami, I don’t want a hug right now.” or “Hands to ourselves” By the end of the school year it is MELANIE going up to SAMI to hold hands and hug.
From Lauren’s mom, Sandy:
Lauren came home the first day from school upset that “Sami threw up all over our table and this was going to be AWFUL”. I talked with Lauren and asked her how she would feel if everyone remembered that she was the one who threw up the first day of school. A couple days later, Lauren came home and told me, “Mom, I thought about what you said, and you know what, Sami is my best friend.” She doesn’t come home a day that she doesn’t tell me something about what she and Sami did. They are true and good friends.
These girls are the true sense of friendship. They giggle, they laugh, they’re silly and they follow each other. I really feel they all learned things from each other this year. What I love the most is the way Lauren and Melanie have Sami’s back. If she does things that aren’t allowed, they tell her. They have no problem correcting her when she needs it, but they also laugh with her and have fun. I have been approached by several parents that watch the 3 girls and say, “Sami has so many good friends!” And you know what, she does. I love that!! She also has a class who “get her” and don’t give in to her because she has different abilities. They expect just as much from her as they would anyone else in the classroom.
You know what I say to that? CHEERS! You are beautiful and you have what everyone wants and needs, Friendship! Grow it, teach it and share it girls!
Choose friendship and lets help our children do the same. Fostering beautiful relationships for our children is really not that hard, these three Mama’s did it and continue to nurture it. The rewards are indescribable.
If you have a story of a beautiful friendship that should be featured here on the blog please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or inbox me here.