I've lost another friend. It happened slowly, but I didn't see it creeping up on me. The mum is a special needs mum, but she has two parents to one child, and their son has young grandparents.
I'm used to parents of neurotypicals slowly moving off the scene when I can't manage to find a babysitter and have to cancel something yet again. I always explain why, and with special needs, there isn't any way I can get replacement child care easily.
It's not as if I can ask the neighbours teenagers to look after the kids while they're sleeping. Babysitters have to be able to cope with the onslaught of a possible outburst from a tired and unmedicated child if he wakes up and loses the plot. He's not a little toddler they can calm, sing to, or shoogle to sleep again.
It's not an easy ask.
Grandparents are thin on the ground here and there is really just my mum, who isn't able to watch all three of mine so that we can go out together. The long shot is that unless the man can get home, I'm generally stuffed.
It doesn't go down well if you have to cancel at short notice.
People take it personally when they seem to think we just don't want to know. They don't really get it that we'd 'love' to be with them, having a glass of wine and chit chatting like regular adults do.
We can tell them until they're blue in the face, but they still take offence.
I just shouldn't commit to things.
I don't know why I really bother to try, but perhaps some of me is hoping that sometime, somehow, my life will return to what it was pre foetal alcohol in the family.
It will get better, I know it will, but in the meantime, the friend is not answering her phone. She's stopped texting and didn't take me on when I e-mailed her.
I'd be getting into the realms of stalking if I keep trying to contact her, so it stops now, and I'll just give it up and move on.
Somehow it doesn't feel like a loss, it feels like a bit of a relief. Maybe that's how it gets. The relief that I don't have to bother with someone else's problems. Perhaps I take that on board too much.
I think the loss of this friend is no bad thing.
Does that make me a monster?