Pampering with a Side of Optimism
After a manicure and a blow out, how about a makeover or a massage? Self-care and pampering were the order of the day as LifeTown transformed into a spa day for Moms who spend their time taking care of their children with special needs. They all carved time out for the event, as much for the formal activities as for the space to connect with other moms, let their guard down, and just exhale together.
“It’s great to have the pampering. But really, this is the one place I can talk about the needs my son has, to network, and to hear from others as they learn from me. This is the place where everyone understands,” said Cindi Goldstein.
Many, like Miriam Gardin, rarely find time to care for themselves. “I always feel better at Friendship Circle. It’s important to come here. Today, just eating a bowl of salad that someone else prepared is something wonderful!”
Lauren Marcon took the day off work just to attend. “It’s important to me to take care of myself!” she said. And her presence alone can help other moms. Her son, a former participant, is now a volunteer. Gardin told her, “You give me hope.”
Women glowing from just-finished massages compared notes on doctors and treatments. Over lunch (careful not to ruin their manicures) they shared tips and resources on schools and consultants for different ages and stages, from elementary schools and residential high schools, to post-21 placements and housing, and even arrangements for far into the future.
“There’s no substitute for coming together to a community of moms facing similar challenges, and through osmosis, absorbing optimism. Everyone is trying to figure out what’s right, and it’s empowering to be with people actively engaged in that pursuit,” said Heidi Rome.
After lunch, sitting in makeup artist Valeriia Shatashvili’s chair, Martine Torriero said she felt like she was on Celebrity Makeover. With an adult son, she said, “I don’t get to do this so much. It’s nice to connect with the other moms and just schmooze for a while.”