ever since she was old enough to question what i do.
my friends, i call them.
these friends whose hands i hold in hallways.
whose buttons i help snap.
whose faces i watch for signs of needs because they can't quite express it with a voice.
friends who fall into spectrums.
and that carry extra chromosomes.
friends that have no voice.
and whose voices are misunderstood.
these are my ... friends.
because i never thought about it.
and i thought that sounded nicer than patients.
she corners me after a fit of 6 year old proportions.
a night full of attitude.
and comments declaring unfairness in life and siblinghood.
a night that makes me feel like a failure as a parent.
she says he asked her if they could be best friends.
this boy that she doesn't really want to be friends with.
not because she doesn't like him ... but because her friends wouldn't.
and i can tell it's been eating her alive.
why wouldn't it?
this rulebound thinker of mine.
i'm sure she sees me. walking through the hallway. holding their hands. being loving. being patient. being tolerant. helping them with the simplest of things. teaching them to talk. teaching them to make and be friends.
and yet. i'm realizing that there is a whole 'nother side to this life.
she's struggling with being like mom who cherishes niceness and love above everything else while still maintaining her true peer friendships.
and just plain not looking weird.
because it's hard to look weird when people you are nice to ...
also known as friends ...
drool on your homework. orstandssuperuncomfortablyclosetoyou. or can't even unbutton their own pants.
or lay screaming on the floor in the middle of the hallway. because they didn't get the green m&m.
so ... tell me.
how in the world do i teach tolerance while still validating her feelings of uncomfortable?
and also ...
why do i have to figure this out already?
because it's not just about me (and my friends) anymore.