Fitting In

Yesterday when I picked Charlie up from school (success, by the way), his teachers eagerly recounted a story from earlier in the day. During outside time, they sat Charlie down in his little chair and his teacher began to sing to him since he’s such a music lover. Before she knew it, a crowd of Preschool girls had formed around them with each little one begging to be the next one to sing to Charlie. All of them delighting in his smile and begging to take a turn. The teachers said he was just mobbed. I had hoped that school would teach Charlie that he’s not the center of the Universe. That might not be possible.

After school we swung by our small local grocery where the owner compliments him on how well he’s sitting up in the cart these days and the manager shouts “Charlie” trying to get Charlie to turn around. When it’s time for me to leave, that same manager rushes to grab my bags and take them out to the car because he knows I’ll have to wrestle Charlie’s uncooperative legs out of the cart.

Later in the evening I approached my first PTA meeting with utter trepidation. My husband did not want to attend (he preferred napping on the couch) and so I went alone. I took an empty seat next to a young mom and sat there debating whether or not to strike up a conversation. I knew that if I asked her a question about her child, then I would have to answer questions about mine and inevitably I would have to explain at least a bit about Charlie’s situation. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of Charlie, but I wasn’t sure how she’d react. Some people just start ignoring you once they realize that you’re not going to be able to compare art projects and height and weight percentiles. Don’t they realize that if they became friends with me, they could win every time for enternity? People should be fighting to hang out with me.

I finally did strike up a conversation (who am I kidding? I can’t shut up) and to my delight, when I told her my son was in Early Intervention Preschool she smiled and told me that she’d heard nothing but good things about the program. She asked if I like the teachers and if Charlie was enjoying school. I couldn’t have asked for a better response.

I don’t know what I envisioned for Charlie in his school and in the larger community. Some people have big ideals to be fulfilled with respect to their special needs child.  I am not one of those people. I am content in the now. I’m sure that to some this post will seem strange since the last one was basically a complaint about someone in my community. It’s not perfect, but no place is perfect, and I believe that one negative comment cannot outweigh the many, many good things that I have seen and experienced.  We are a part of of things, we are fitting in and finding our place, and for now, that is enough.


Ginger B's been begging for school pics. Sadly, this is what I got this morning.

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  1. That’s similar to my memory of the girl I knew in elementary school with cerebral palsy. The biggest treat for anyone at recess was who got to push Amanda’s wheelchair around the playground and we all loved hanging out with her. :) I really like that memory of my elementary school b/c I think that my classmates there were really nice people.
    Of course, my parents took me out of that school (where I was happy) and put me in another, infinitely more toxic school for middle school and high school (where my mom taught, but I was miserable)- but that’s a whole different issue.

  2. We all knew Charlie was a rockstar. Only now, his fame is becoming more and more widespread.

  3. Isn’t that what we all look like in the morning??!!

  4. What an absolute doll! And that yawn! Love it! So glad he is a chick magnet in school!

  5. It feels so good to “fit in” once in a while, doesn’t it? :)
    Good for you.

    I’m not having good feelings about preschool today…..I’m wearing some pretty grumpy pants.


  6. Charlie seems to be doing so GREAT! How could they not love that face! He is so cute!
    The kids love Cj too! He is so popular at school! However he has a new teacher this year. She is great and cares so much about him but he misses his old teacher so much ! He is staying up at night and threw up today at school! I feel like Amy…not having a great back to school experience!

  7. Glad to hear that you and Charlie are finding your nitch! Whether you are a special needs parent or not, their always seems to be one person that has a negative attitude. Don’t be bothered by it. Cute pic!

  8. Jailen's Mom :) says:

    I told you the girls would be lining up!! :) Jailen is down to 3 girlfriends now. Not sure which 2 got cut or why, though. Aren’t the guys with wheels always the ladies men?? :)

  9. Awesome.

  10. Good stuff!
    Charlie the girl magnet… no one can stand up against that smile :)

  11. Well, I can make do with this one for now, since you had a good day and all, and I’m sure you’ll keep snapping more pix. I envy you and your zen like attitude. I am still in the grief and anger stage. I hope to be serene like you one day.

  12. I love it! Sounds like school is going great for the most part.

  13. This sounds pretty wonderful! Are you surprised that Charlie would be surrounded by girls? I am not – the kid is a charmer! Love that last pic! He looks really excited about school. haha

  14. I loved this post, it has such a subtle positivity to it that just feels natural. I wish I were in your local community. I love to strike up a conversation with you.

    • I too wish you were local I would be honoured to sit beside you at the PTA meeting. You write what I think and am too scared to say out loud.

  15. You make me smile. Thanks. And I love this photo of Charlie.