If You Put A Label On A Child…

Four little children sitting together and playing on playground.

Within my social media and writing circles, I’ve met amazing people . Some of which are parents. Some of which are parents of children who might be working through some challenges.

I like to say “challenge” because it doesn’t sound disrespectful and, as I write this, I really hope it isn’t. I myself, work through challenges daily as do my kids and husband but I’m referring to children who have been diagnosed as special needs.

What isn’t a challenge is understanding how amazing they are…

…..as are their parents.

I’ll never assume to think I know their children or their individual needs. They don’t know how I feel my kids should be raised and taught as I don’t assume to know their children.

Your child was meant to have you as my children were meant to have me.

I’ve seen their children’s pictures. I’ve read their stories of triumph and frustration. To me, I see challenges happen and parents working toward successes. I see amazing work. I see parents being parents and I look up to them with admiration and tons of respect.

When I find myself feeling my patience ween I wonder what if my son couldn’t understand me or communicate like he can now?. I wonder if I could be as strong as the parents I know.

What brought this on? Let me explain:

When my son met a child at the park last week, the mother told me he was autistic. CP asked what that meant and I said that it just means that the boy learns differently than him. He said ok and they bounced off to play. She smiled at me and said thank you.

But in my mind, I did nothing. My son did all the work. The question, the understanding, the acceptance. My 5 year old is better than me in so many ways. He is better than most adults around children in general.

He sees a child to play with. Nothing more or less. He doesn’t see a diagnosis, a stigma or a name. He sees a playmate. A friend. Someone to be a boy with. And for this, I’m the proudest mama. I did something right. I didn’t necessarily teach understanding or empathy. I taught him that this child, this human is like him and kindness matters. Appearances and challenges do not.

To all those parents: I struggle with how I really want to express my pride. Words escape me and thoughts are tangled in my head. I’m hoping that you know I’m applauding you. I’m applauding your children. I’m on your side, in your corner, shaking my pom-poms.

You are the parents that inspire me. I just wanted you to know.

And your children are just beautiful.