“Why you glasses out?”

I was sitting on the floor of our living room, listening to some music.  The song “Wonder” by Natalie Merchant came over the speakers and I began to sing along.  When I hit the words:

O, I believe
Fate smiled and destiny
Laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as she came to my mother
Know this child will not suffer
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience and with faith

I started to cry.

It had been a challenging morning, to say the least.  I don’t know if the kids were out of sorts because I had been away, or if maybe I was the one out-of-sync.  But Howie was up at 5am and had been verbally stimming and non-compliant all morning.  He refused to get dressed/put on his coat/get in the van.  Lewis woke up shortly after Howie left, and the pattern continued.  Wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t get dressed.  No coat, no car.  We were 10 minutes late for preschool and I left him screaming outside his classroom with the teacher, still refusing to hang up his backpack.

The ugly cry was my company on the way home.

I had finally pulled it together enough to make myself coffee, eat an entire row of cinnamon rolls, shower, and get back for preschool pickup.

At home twenty minutes later, the song came on.

I was sitting on the floor, glasses off, crying.

“Why you glasses out?”

Lewis had come around the corner, a pile of Hot Wheels cars in his hand.  I quickly tried to wipe away the tears.

“What’s that?”

He was pointing to one stray tear coming down my cheek.

“I will wipe it.  I get paper towel.”

He went into the kitchen and grabbed a whole roll of paper towels, ripping off several sheets.

Gently, he touched my cheek.

“There.  Alllll better.”

And it was.

I have a week that includes a special education parent advisory meeting tonight, Lewis’ first IEP meeting at 9am tomorrow morning, his 3 year old checkup an hour later, and our first monthly kindergarten parent/teacher meeting for Howie directly after that.  Wednesday the kids have no school.  Thursday we meet with a psychologist to determine what, if any, testing we need to do with Gerry.

Friday is Lewis’ third birthday.  And if you have a kid with special needs, you know what that milestone means.  No more early intervention.  Fully in the hands of the school system.  No more wondering if this is a phase that you won’t have to share.  It’s real.

But that simple gesture of wiping my tears…

Reminded me of why this week is so important.

My kids need me to be their best advocate this week so that in turn they can show the world the wonders that I see here at home.

My kids – all three – are counting on me.  That takes the sad right out of me.

It’s all right to cry
Crying gets the sad out of you
It’s all right to cry
It might make you feel better

Raindrops from your eyes
Washing all the mad out of you
Raindrops from your eyes
It’s gonna make you feel better.” – It’s All Right To Cry by Rosey Grier (from Free To Be You And Me)