Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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Help Me vs. Support Me

Support:tr.v. sup·port·edsup·port·ingsup·ports
1. To bear the weight of, especially from below.
2. To hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.
3. To be capable of bearing; withstand:
Help: n.1.a. The act or an instance of helping.
b. Aid or assistance.
2. Relief; remedy 
 In my circle of friends, especially those comprised of parents,with special needs children, we talk frequently about support systems. Those people who will give you "I got yer back" without hesitation. It does indeed provide "capability to bear or withstand" to know you have that kind of support at the ready. A phone call, a coffee break, an offer to babysit the monsters for an hour so you can talk a walk and clear your head.

But when it's help we need, do we always know where to turn? Do you need a paramedic for a seizing child,  a plumber to yank the 12 socks out of the toilet that your 3 year old just flushed,  a neighbor to give you a jump start because your preschooler turned your headlights on when you were removing him bodily from the car, a mediator with you at an IEP meeting?

I am guilty of smashing the two together. "Be there for me" isn't exactly the best way to define what I need. I have learned that in order to accomplish my desired goal in any given circumstance, it is my responsibility to clearly indicate what is needed.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again. I love immediate gratification. Life would be so much easier if we were all mind readers, so none of us had to explain whether we need help or we just need a shoulder to cry on for a day or two because life just keeps getting in the way. I am not good at waiting for results. But, when push comes to shove, the end result depends on me, and my ability to appropriately convey what is needed.

What's that? You need support? I can do that. I'm all about the phone calls and the emails and the offering kleenex and soothing conversation. Help you? I have all KINDS of resources I can direct you to.  Just let me know what you need.

Definitions by the good people at thefreedictionary.com . Images from the Google Images people.

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