photoI was away from home one night last week- a quick trip to Georgia and back.

With a few hours to myself I sat down to transfer some of the quotes/sayings I’ve come across and have captured in my phone to my journal – where I can get back to them when I need them.

I save them because some I find challenging, some inspirational, some truth, some funny, some sad.  I haven’t really had a lot of time to transfer them off my phone lately – and so what I found was a very interesting retelling of our last several months with Grace.  Here are a few.

From National

“Not a label.  Not a word.
Not a derogatory term you heard.
I’m a who.  Same as you.
Do you have a name?  Me too.
I’m a mind.  A heart.  A personality.
I’m an equal part of the overall we.
I’m a him or a her.  A he or a she.
Who am I?  I’m simply me.
A person.
Not a disability.”

From A Very Special Needs Resource:

“A special needs mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world.  It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorsefully all that stands in its path.”

The quote was attributed to Bob Kerrey:

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

And three more from A Very Special Needs Resource:

“ Please be patient with me.  I never knew being the parent of a special needs child would be this hard.”

“The special needs journey can feel like standing on a line between giving up and seeing how much more we can take.”

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

And last but not least in my time away we were emailed a picture of Grace in gym class with three other girls.  They had constructed her a hut out of hula hoops.  Grace’s princess friend was front and center with Grace.  She has been a wonderful friend to Grace through kindergarten and first grade, but we are preparing ourselves for the probability that she won’t be in Grace’s class next year.  The two other girls in the picture are the girls that we are hoping will be in Grace’s second grade class.  We requested them along with two boys specifically as we spelled out our concerns for Grace’s second grade year.  The concern being that Grace be introduced to her new classmates on the trusted arms of friends- that kids who appreciate her would show their acceptance of Grace to the new kids she’ll encounter.  She’ll be with the “regular kids” less and less and we want to make the most of every single drop of the integration time she has.

How will we ever thank Grace’s princess friend?  I’ve found myself wondering this a lot.  I expect she no idea of her impact.  No idea.  But that picture – the opportunity and relationship it captures – goes right there with those quotes and sayings of things I’ll go back to as I grapple with:

  • advocating for Grace’s place in the overall we,
  • trying to figure out how to crush down the hurdles put in her way (on purpose mind you some of them),
  • as I remember to be kind when I’m really frustrated,
  • as I ask for patience from friends, family, and complete strangers,
  • saying “bring it on” rather than giving up,
  • focusing most on how much I love her,
  • and trusting myself to be her advocate.