you’re not alone
When Hazel cries while Zoe’s around, Zoe will usually run to her and hold Hazel’s hand or give her a hug. “You’re not alone,” she’ll tell her little sister, “big sister is here.” It pretty much melts my heart into a pile of goo.
Recently, I’ve found myself repeating the “you’re not alone” part to Hazel when she’s crying. At first, it was just a meaningless line for comfort, like “there there” or “it’s ok.” But I’ve been thinking about just how comforting it is to know that you’re not alone.
When we were first dealing with infertility, I didn’t know anyone in real life who was dealing with the same thing. Thank goodness for the Internets and all the infertility sites and blogs. If anyone doubts that others are going through infertility, they need only look at Mel’s amazing list of over 2500 adoption, loss, and infertility blogs. You are not alone.
I ran into that need to not feel alone again when Zoe got her glasses, and when I didn’t find a lot of online support, I started another blog (Little Four Eyes, linked from the side of this blog), hoping to find a few other families going through the same thing so I wouldn’t feel quite so alone. It’s been successful, and I’ve been struck by the number of comments I get there from other parents expressing how happy they are to find others going through the same issues. Apparently, I’m not alone in not wanting to be alone.
On Friday, we learned that Zoe not only needs glasses, but now she needs to patch her left eye for four hours each day, for the next 6 weeks at least (and quite possibly longer). All of a sudden, I found myself desperate again to connect with others who had been through this – either as a parent helping their child with patching, or people who had patched as a child. Looking for advice and tips and tricks, sure, but mostly just wanting the reassurance that I’m not alone.
At the doctor’s office, we talked with the ophthalmologist about Zoe patching at daycare. “But surely she’s not the only one who has to patch?” the doctor asked. I checked with Zoe, and no, no other kids at her daycare patch. “No other kids have glasses, either” she told the doctor. She’s doing really well, amazingly, actually, at being the only one with glasses at school. I hope that she does as well with the patch. She was worried on Friday that people would laugh, but her main concern today was how she’d get her patch home to put on her patching poster (we’re planning on having her patch in the morning from 7 – 11 am). I’ve made a patch card with parchment paper (for baking on) to take her patch home on. And I’ve jotted down a few instructions for her teachers (ok, I drafted it on the computer, but I’m going to write them by hand so I don’t look too worried). I know she’ll be fine. We’re not alone. I still worry.