That Thing I Hold On To

I’ve been holding on to this little thing for a while now. I pull it out of my pocket for when I need a happy thought, a glimmer of hope, a silver lining. Today is one of the days I need it.

You may know I walk my kids in to school on the days I don’t have work. In this time of drop off and pick up lines, little face to face time with teachers is available. On these days, I find the people I want to say thank you to, or the ones I need to go over concerns with. One morning, I stopped as I almost always do to chat with my friend who happens to be Big’s school psychologist. As we were talking, another teacher came in.

You see, theres a group of kids who are taught life skills instead of being in a “typical” classroom. Big loves this class. He will often go in there when it’s a testing day. At first I thought it was that he didn’t see the differences between himself and those kids. That made my heart happy.  But the truth is, he DOES see the differences. But here’s the part I’m keeping in my pocket:  he doesn’t pity them. He gets it. My kid on the autism spectrum gets it. He isn’t their friend because he feels sorry for them. He genuinely likes what they all bring to the table. And do you know what happens as a result, they all genuinely like him. They think he’s a rockstar of knowledge. The life skills teacher said, “Kristi, when he comes in with a some tidbit of knowledge and is so excited to teach them something, they sit on the edge of their seats and hang on every word of wisdom he has for them.”

Every kid deserves a real friend, to not be pitied, to be made to feel like a rockstar. Every kid.

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