Like almost everyone who pays attention, I see a lot of special needs children and their parents. I see a mom and her teenage son who still listens to Wiggles CDs. I wish I had a flower or a gift card for his mom. Can’t afford it, but I wish I could. Because I see that she is tired. She loves him, but she is tired, and some days she doesn’t smile. I don’t really understand, as my diagnosed kid is much higher functioning, but I have an inkling. I see the mom with twin sons who are older than my son, and I can only imagine how very tired she is. How hard simply driving them to school for their therapy is for her. How she longs for a way to speak with them. How she hopes.
I want to do some small thing for them. Thing is, I can’t do anything much at all. I am barely getting by, myself. But I wish I could. So, if all I have right now are my words, I will say it here.
For ALL of you who persist, who listen to the Wiggles (or who knows what else) over and over and over. Who take your kids to run errands because it’s good for them, even when people can be rude. Who take your kids because you don’t have the option of leaving them home. Who don’t take your kids because you just can’t stand it anymore, or because people are unkind, or because running to the library or the grocery store is as close to a spa day as you flipping get. Who only buy velcro shoes because nothing else is worth the fight, or can’t buy velcro because the sound sends kids over the edge. Who manage to smile when people are disrespectful because your child is different. Who watch family and friends drift away. Who see other kids going to college or prom or just plain eating “normal” food.
I see you.
And I honor you, not only for what you are doing, but for YOU. YOU, a person of individuality and uniqueness. I honor you.
I know being seen doesn’t really help. I know wishing I had flowers and gift cards to hand out doesn’t help at all. And that the flower would fade, or the gift card would be used and gone.
But here and now, let me say again, I honor you. I wish you the grace and peace to get through yet another day.
God bless you, Mom, wherever, whoever, and whenever you are. God bless you.