I visited my sister today at her school for a birthday lunch. I guess when you’re turning 30, a quick salad eaten while standing and corralling squirrelly kiddos is a sign of a full and meaningful life. It was fun to see her in her every day environment and Nathan enjoyed running around, looking at the chickens, and trying to tell all the kids to “Stop and go back to class!”

It is a wonderful school. Really a best case scenario for any kid with special needs who cannot be at home with their primary caregiver. Plenty of out door space to run and play, a small school where everyone will know your name, vibrant classrooms, and individualized school plans. A cheerful, upbeat, hopeful place.

A little girl introduced herself and her classmates to me, a social skill she’s been working on. A little boy ran to gently kneel before Nathan and help him up when he tripped and fell. He wanted to hold Elijah’s hand and exclaimed about how small it is and how he used to be small in his mommy’s tummy. I nodded and said, “Yes you used to be small in your Mommy’s tummy.”

I had a good time.

But I looked around and felt oppressed with sadness.

Knowing what I know on this side of my extraordinary journey through parenthood, all I could think of was all the hurt and sadness represented by these wonderful children. All the Mamas who stay up late worrying about how to care for their precious one in a world that doesn’t want to make space for their extraordinary gifts and needs. All the rejection that led these kids to this place. The tears wept for children who cannot connect in the expected relationships, carry on the expected conversations, engage in the expected activities. What will happen to each of them when they grow too big for this safe school?

I know my emotions don’t have that much to do with each of those kids and everything to do with where I am as I view this part of their life. I am Overwhelmed. Sad. Tired. Scared.

I am up late worrying about how care for my precious one in this world that won’t make space for him and his extraordinary gifts and needs. I am scared of the rejection he receives and where it will lead him. I weep over the loss of connection, conversation, and activities. What will happen to him when he grows too big for our safe little home?

There are no easy answers lately.