“I’m different, different, different. Nobody is like me. Different, different, different. And that’s okay with me.” – Butterfly Boucher
“I think being different, going against the grain of society is the greatest thing in the world.” – Elijah Wood
I had a reality check today that my daughter is different. She’s my sweetheart and my firstborn, and sometimes there’s just good long stretches of time when I don’t really think about how she fits into the world beyond the walls of our home. She has always fit in our home. I saw that she was a rare child from the moment she was born. Someone to hold and behold. She just has this quality; she’s one of those children who often gets referred to as an “old soul”.
When her teacher asked us to come in for a meeting, my husband made sure we could come in before I left town. There has to be something wrong if she’s contacting us to have a meeting, right? It seems rare that people contact you to inform you that everything is going just fine. So we arranged to go in the day after the meeting request.
The first thing we learned at the meeting was that all parents were called in. The teacher was trying very tenderly to tell us that Ilah is different. She works differently. She communicates differently. She plays on the playground differently. When we got into the nitty gritty of it, no part of what she was saying was surprising. We know that girl. And she’s a lot like us.
It broke my heart a little to hear that she had even the slightest hint of struggle. And yet the more I sat with the knowledge of how she moves in class, the more I felt like she was working out the ways she can get what she needs in class. She’s happy. She loves school. So to us, there really isn’t a problem unless she’s feeling anxious about school. It is our responsibility as her parents to ensure that she is fostered by caring and empathetic adults.
How does it feel when you try to help someone only to find that they need that struggle in their lives?