I’ve been expecting the call and dreading it since he was 2. Call it a mother’s intuition; call it a spectacular case of parent-induced dread. Call it what you will, but I knew, I knew, I knew I was going to get the call.
So, when it came this afternoon, I should have been ready. I should have been able to recall the words that had been developed, practiced and played out in my head. I should have been able to tactfully participate. Instead, I mumbled and tripped and entered the conversation late with bloody knees and my writing arm in a sling. I was impaired by love and it conquered all of my well-intentioned knowledge. It displaced my understanding. In its place, my mind imagined my body huddled over his body, my hands over his ears—humming his favorite song loudly. I had to protect him.
All the while, I knew I needed to be listening. After all, wasn’t this exactly what I anticipated?
As she spoke, my mind wandered to his 3-week premature ears. They had small folds at the top. The doctor told us it was common in the under-baked. They would self-correct over time. He still has barely visible folds at the top of his ears. I love that about him. It’s the only part of my baby that is left. The rest has been stretched to conform into a boy—lean legs and long arms.
As she spoke, my mind wandered to the woman who called him a, “little shit!” in my kitchen. And, he was acting like a humongous shit. Hitting and displaying the very worst of his interior. I wanted to kill her.
As she spoke, my mind wandered to the boy who could not be consoled when he didn’t find a living bug during a class lesson. He cried and yelled and refused to get back in line as every other child marched inside. I was helpless, chasing the baby. Another mother stayed with him in the garden and turned over the rocks until he found the perfect insect. I wanted to give her every piece of goodness I had.
This boy of mine who has never been easy. He’s never been easy. He would cry and cry and cry. We would cry and cry and cry. He’s still not easy.
The papers will come home. We should look over them and there will be something to sign. It’s early intervention.
They love him, but…We all love him, but…
It’s just never going to be easy.
And, my heart breaks into all of the pieces that so tenderly love him.
I knew I was going to get the call, I just hoped I never would.
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