Have you ever been to Wit's End? What does it look like? How does it feel? For each of us, the answers to those questions may be drastically different. For me, Wit's End is an ever-evolving body of water. On some days, Wit's End may be a tiny, shallow puddle, barely noticeable, hardly wetting my toes. On other days, Wit's End is like a bottomless ocean, full of tidal waves, water spouts, sharks and giant human-eating squid! Wit's End can make me laugh, and it can rob me of breath.
Traveling to Wit's End is easy. It can happen in a moment, no black hole or Tardis necessary. When my son, Kepler, rubbed green and orange ink pads on his body until he looked like an Oompa Loompa, I immediately found myself ankle-deep in the Wit's End pond. When he decorated his room with a full bottle of ketchup, I was thrown into the deep end of the Wit's End pool. It's as if the moment, and the feelings attached are a magical mix with the power to fling my mind directly into a different space, a space that can be overwhelming and lonely.
I'm betting that you can relate to these feelings, that place. As the parents of children with special needs, we may find ourselves carried to Wit's End more often than others. We experience moments that others may not understand, like relief at a diagnosis or grief at a school conference. Somehow we manage to navigate the watery depths of our own personal Wit's End with strength, humor, tears and determination.
As I have swum the waters of my Wit's End, it has been the support of other parents that has saved me. Life preservers are flung from caregivers on various shores, reminding me that I am hardly alone in this reality. Just knowing that I can reach out and grab a ring makes the waves less daunting, and can even turn a terrifying shark into a playful dolphin.
And so, I offer you this peer (pier), this place where we will support each other, laugh together and just be. When the waves get high, we'll remind each other of the brilliant stars overhead, and the reminder that tough times are temporary. We might even decide to join hands and jump in, providing strength in numbers.
If you are at your Wit's End, welcome. You are not alone.