"You okay mommy?"
His voice is so clear and innocent. Intonation perfect.
I lift up my head and see those big brown eyes with a look of concern. One hand holds a cheap sippy cup containing several grasshoppers he caught today (which he is so proud of) the other rests nonchalantly near mine on the table. He heard me sobbing.
"Yeah, I'm okay. Mommy is just sad." I try to smile.
"Why you sad?"
Such a loaded question. I know he doesn't understand. And at this time he doesn't need to be burdened. What's the point?
There's no way to explain that in preparation for his IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting early the next morning I have been going over the Evaluation Team Report (ERT) to read over everything that was discussed and referenced to in a separate meeting held only a few days ago.
A meeting he that was actually present for but was happily playing with his sister and mostly oblivious to the nine adults seriously discussing his future for the next several months which can possibly affect him for years.
Speech and Language Impairment. Suspected Cognitive Disability. Developmental Delay.
It can be very hard to face reality. I've already known the truth. I have felt it deep within my soul for years. Speaking the words out loud hurt.
Reading the technical and clinical terms in straight black and white just shatter my spirit and crumble my resolve. There is no way to sugar coat results.
The percentages begin to blur. The written words are daggers to my heart and the tears fall. Below average. Socially and emotionally not age appropriate. Difficult to understand. Requires additional prompts to stay on task. Sensory issues. Plays by himself. Immature grasp. Cannot perform such-and-such...
I give up on the thickly stapled, crisp white stack of papers not even halfway through. I grab the tissues next to me and cry.
What else is there to do?
"Do your eye hurt mommy?"
I kind of chuckle to myself. Last time I was holding tissues to my face was because I had the scratched cornea. He was concerned for me then, too.
"No buddy, my eye doesn't hurt. I'm just a little sad but I'm okay. Mommy is fine. Jesus will help me feel better."
"Jesus help you?"
"Yes, Jesus will help me."
And I know He will. I bring it to Him. I lament over the why me's and the why him's and dump it at the feet of Christ. I ask for strength because there is absolutely no way I can do this without His help. We have a long road ahead of us. A very. long. road.
But I'm human. I vent a little on Facebook and am thankfully built up by friends and family. I hear Mandisa's song "Overcomer" and after originally being frustrated and wanting to beat the radio, I do feel uplifted. Finally letting out all the held back emotions does make me feel better.
My son is a gift to me. For some bewildering reason I have been blessed to be this boy's mother. I may struggle and have meltdowns. I get discouraged. But I pick myself back up and continue the battle to fight for the best future for my child -- just like other good mothers do.