I usually try to convince myself that I went through the whole mourning process and came to terms with Seth’s limitations back when he was 4 or 5. Those of you with special needs children understand that this is something we all do to get through the days, but sometimes reality just slaps you in the face.
Today I volunteered to help out with crafts for the 3rd grade China Day celebration. They’ve been studying China for a couple of months and today they celebrated by eating Chinese food and making crafts. I stayed with Seth as he rotated between 4 of the 5 third grade classrooms and watched as he struggled to participate. The other kids asked him to be quiet and stop pretending (He says he’s pretending when he’s stemming). I watched boys and girls move to other tables when he chose a seat near them. For three hours, I absorbed the reality that Seth is not normal….again.
Reality sometimes bites!
I thank God daily for allowing me to parent this amazing little boy and I thank Him daily that He has called us to adopt a daughter who is also a special gift.
That being said, it sucks watching my child be an outcast. I volunteered at the school all the time when Kira and Chase were younger and even when Seth was spending most of his time in a self-contained classroom. Since he has been in a mainstream class for the past 2 years, I find myself coming up with excuses to not be involved at the school. Today I had to admit to myself that I don’t like being there because I don’t like witnessing just how out of place Seth is. Academically, he’s doing fine and his social skills have improved 2000% from where they were a few years ago. Heck, Chad and I consider it a miracle that he no longer sniffs and licks strangers. He’s just not yet “friend worthy” and there is not a week that goes by that he doesn’t cry and tell us, “I just want a friend.”
I know that tomorrow I will be fine. I know that I will continue to find excuses to not volunteer for class parties and field trips. But I also know that I will continue to be acutely aware of the fact that my son longs for friendship. If you’re praying for us, pray for Seth to come across another child who values him and who will be kind to him.
“He who finds a friend, finds a treasure.” Jewish saying.