There has been an overwhelming outpouring of love and support from the world. Enough so that I hope, so desperately, that the sub-human who wrote the letter feels every ounce of the the total piece of shit that she is.
I cannot even.
It KILLS me that this letter even exists. The idea that there are people out there that exist in our world who hate so very much. They hate on kids. They hate on the most vulnerable. They hate on the ones that need our our understanding. The ones that need us to care for them more than anyone else. Because they do not know how to show what they feel in a socially "acceptable" way. They don't KNOW HOW. And it is with this anger and sadness and down right pissed offed-ness that I come to this post.
Dear Universe and All Who Live Here:
Mr. Pants is this kind of kid. Not as severe a case, sure, but I cannot say that he didn't run circles naked around our new neighbors as they moved in while speaking a penguin language. He barked. He strutted. He was completely bizarre to the 23 year-old masters students moving in. Thankfully they smiled at him. They knelt down and and said hello. They were not skeeved out by his atypical display. I cannot tell you what this meant to me.
My heart hurts. My stomach is turned. My eyes are fixed. They are fixed on the one that could be so cruel.
I stand in front of my child with a spear. Ready to fucking stab out of the way those that would hurt his heart. And I want to spit fire and vitriol and cancerous venom. I want to injure the person who would be so very cruel. I want to rage. I want to scream. I want to yell.
My heart. Oh, my heart. My heart wants to see the love that exists for our children. The love that I know is there. The love for all of us that I have to know is out there. Because if I don't believe that it is there, then how, I mean HOW, can I ever let my child navigate this world alone? How do I ever hand him over at 8:25 A.M to a teacher and aids and other children for 7 hours a day? How do I ever feel as though it is safe for my baby, my ACTUAL HEART, to be in the care of anyone else but his family?
I had the pleasure of sharing Mr. Pants with a masters class at Kent State University this past June. I was afraid. I was afraid because I am always afraid to share his struggles. Because many who do not understand those struggles attempt to qualify, or negate. Not because they are heartless, but because they do not understand the unique life of a child with SPD or ASD. They try to understand by equating the struggle to those of their typically developing kids.
It's not the same. SHIT, YOU GUYS. It is NOT the same.
Parents of kids who are atypical are always afraid. I don't care how you try to justify it, they are. They just are. We fear retribution for our child's needs, not for us, but for them. Be it through bullying (kid or adult) or through neglect. We are terrified that those caring for the loves of our lives will mistreat them. That they will hurt them. That they will hate them.
And it's different from those of you who raise typical kids because we cannot be sure that our child even possesses the skills to protect themselves. Within the spectrum, we are told that those skills may not be there.
That is a knife...a KNIFE...to the heart. It takes my breath away. It causes me to have nightmares. The thought breaks me in half. Yet still I force myself to remember that people are good. That people are loving. That people will LOVE my child the way that I LOVE my amazing child. I force myself to allow him to experience life. To experience humanity.
I am terrified the whole time.
My prayer is that humanity rises to meet him. Wherever he is. WHOEVER he is. I pray that humanity will hold him and care for him the way we all deserve to be held. In love. With peace. With an abundance of understanding. And grace.
Please...Oh my god PLEASE, may it be so.
"Colleen is the mother of a 4-year-old little boy who she says is hard not to love. He has great gross motor skills, can go underwater, speaks two languages, and is a lover of crunchy carbs. He also just happens to have sensory processing issues, too. I don't know her child, but I want to be the teacher he trusts. I want to be the teacher that she trusts.
I will keep Colleen's story with me as I continue through this program, develop my teaching philosophy and begin my career. This renews my purpose."
May it be so.