I watched this trailer today and it gave me goosebumps. What I saw hits very close to home. The constant struggle to make others understand that our kids with special needs (especially the kiddos like Tessie who are on the extreme end of the spectrum) have value and worth.
That they think. They feel. They love. They understand what you are saying. They have a sense of humor. They are capable of learning if given the time and patience it can often take to teach them. That the light in their eyes, that sparkle, is a knowledge far deeper than most of us will ever know.
And the real kicker is, I used to be one of those people. The ones who think that kids with special needs are "less than". The word "retard" would regularly escape my lips with no regard to who I was really talking about. I was one of the people who thought kids like Tess were a drain on society. They couldn't be taught. Couldn't learn. Would have to be taken care of their entire lives only to give nothing back in return.
Long story short:
I was a selfish, ignorant jerk.
I am not proud of who I was and the things I thought I believed back then. In fact, I am more ashamed of that than anything else in my entire life. And when I look at Tessie, it makes me want to cry to know that there are others in the world who think about her like I used to think about someone else's baby.
Thankfully, here's what I have been given the privilege of finding out through experience; Tess gives back far more than she could ever take. She is smart. When she doesn't want to do something (like school), she will make herself go to sleep until she is given something she wants to be doing-like watching Toy Story 2. She is a kid who loves inappropriate humor. I often joke that if Tessie ever learns how to talk, we will all be in trouble. She thinks it's funny when I
Are there hard days? You bet. Days where you think your heart can't possible break any more and then something happens and you realize, "I guess it can." Days where the ache is so deep you wonder how you are out functioning in the world. Days where you think you just can't take it anymore...no more therapists, doctors, health agencies, insurance agencies, school calls, diaper changes, meds given, seizures...NO MORE. But you keep going because there isn't a choice.
This is your child. Your baby. And there is nothing you wouldn't do for her because she is worth all of it.
All kids are.
Maya Angelou once said, "...when you knew better, you did better."
Thank God I now know better.