My Zoey (16 months) and I sat in the back and I shoveled snacks into her mouth attempting to keep her from being too loud as I sat through Perfectly Punctual and Perfect Attendance awards. Scottie sat with her class with all the other first graders and would occasionally look over at me.
I am always so nervous when I go to one of her school events...more times than not she gets upset and wants to come home with me. I have to make the decision between not showing up and wondering what she feels and thinks when her mom isn't there, or I can show up and wonder what she feels and thinks when I leave her there.
Our sweet, little girl is a special needs child...special needs. The "special" part is true, but aren't all children special? "Needs"...well don't all children have needs? There isn't a word or term that can adequately describe a child with special needs. She is the child who changed me..changed our family...and made us more compassionate, patient, and loving. She has taught me more about love in the last 7 almost 8 years than any other experience or person. She is witty and innocent and sweet and sings Chris Tomlin one minute and the Black Eyed Peas the next. Scottie loves her family first and foremost.
If she could live on a farm surrounded by animals she would be in heaven. If we could go to Disney World, every month she would be the happiest little girl (truly the most magical place on earth). I never have to wonder how she is feeling when she is in her "safe" place, our home. School is another story.
Don't get me wrong she has amazing teachers. They genuinely care about her and want the best for her. But she would rather be home! Lately as I tuck her into bed at night and tell her tomorrow is a "school day" she shakes her head no and tells me "stay home mommy day". If Jacob or Emma Grace had said this to me, I would have asked why they feel that way and we could have a conversation about how they feel. When Scottie tells me this, I try and try to understand what she is thinking and how she feels, but I walk away not knowing. I walk away not knowing my child's heart.
Today after her awards ceremony, I walk to her and hug her and take her picture with Zoey. She starts to cry and my heart breaks. I walk her to her classroom and kiss her and tell her that in a few hours I will pick her up from school. I say all the right things and I do the right thing by walking away. But that walk down the hallway with my sweet, sweet girl crying and saying "my mommy" is the longest walk...the hardest walk. I second guess myself and I cry out to my God and ask why my little girl. Why does life have to be so much harder for her. Why?
Then I am reminded that the same God I ask why, created her and loves her more than me! The same Abba that I cry out to, placed her in our family because there is a master plan.
"I will give thanks to You, for I (Scottie) am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well." Psalm 119:14
As I tucked in Scottie this evening, she looked at me and asked "stay home mommy day?". I simply smile and say, "Yes tomorrow is a stay home mommy day!" What a difficult day for a "special needs" mommy, but what a wonderful gift God has given our family. Thank you Lord for our Scottie and help us to be a more compassionate and loving people because of her!!!