Koosh and I had made our home in the small town that Koosh grew up in. Koosh was well liked and had many friends. Being an ‘out-of-towner’, I was grateful that his friends were so nice and, well, friendly. I felt that I fit right in.
Everyone was happy when Koosh and I started our family. Most of them had already started theirs and became great resources of advice to us. In fact, there were many whose families consisted of 2 girls so when we had likewise, we also reaped the benefits of a very nice wardrobe. I don’t think I needed to purchase a stitch of clothing until my girls were almost 10!
Although we had many benefits to having friends with children, there was also the realization that our family was limited in the activities we could participate in as a family. We watched as other families enjoyed outings that we could only dream of. Even the experience of going to a restaurant, all four of us, became extremely difficult. We spent many hours visiting other families – Barb and Denny who had Lindsay and Leslie; Claire and Jane who had Allie and Suzanne; Shig and Jean who had Susie; Elaine and Ron who had Jennifer and Justin; and many more gave us the opportunity to share in their family experiences even if it was in their homes or ours. Many of them had pools and swimming was the thing that Jess enjoyed the most!
There were times when I observed other families complaining about the restrictions that they endured for one reason or another and I would want to shake them. “Look at what you got!” I felt like shouting at them. “Don’t take these moments for granted!” But the friends above got it. They loved one another and never took one moment for granted. I would like to think that there were times when they would think of our limitations and count their blessings, I am sure they did. But they gave us so much more. They accepted the fact that even with our limitations, we were a family and we were doing our best. And with all of Jess’ challenges, we loved each other very much. And I will always be grateful to them.