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  • The school psychologist read through my son's report. Everything was average. Average in a good way. Like a "mean" average. She says he has no disabilities. I dispute that. Not that I don't want him to be "average," -as I do. Not that I'm not happy, as I am.

    But I say to her, "He is on medication, seeing a psychiatrist, seeing a counselor, using technology." The disabilities have not gone away, but they are normalized. I say to the young psychology intern ...
    "You don't understand the journey ..."

    The resource teacher sees the tear in my eye. She understands as she has "average" sons, too. She chimes in and acknowledges - "It is all the things his parents have done to help him and his own efforts that have brought us to this place."

    I grab her hand.
  • That morning I had sat in the dentist chair. Tears streaming down my face.

    The dentist says, "I'm sorry, but it does look like you've had a stroke. The left side of your mouth droops."

    "But ...," I say, "I can smile," as I weakly demonstrate.

    She replies, "Even when you smile, you can see it. Maybe your recent heart attack?"

    "No," I tell her, "I think before that." (Damn blood pressure).

    I had to sit through the rest of the cleaning. I couldn't stop crying though. Every feeling, every denied thought, came streaming out.

    The dental tech tried to comfort me. She asked if I knew about my former dental tech. I told her I did, I heard she died of cancer. Then she tells me about how people go through worse things. Her own young husband died of ALS. I sympathized through my tears.

    "Yes, I have had patients die from ALS, I have done hospice work, yes, it's awful - worse than cancer in my mind (can anything be worse than cancer - yes)."
    "I'm sorry you lost your husband that way."

    But I'm thinking ... 'So she's trying to make me feel better?'

    When you have your own miseries somehow thinking of starving children in Africa doesn't make you feel better. Right?

    She finally finished.

    I went to the front desk to pay or whatever. I'm a mess. I'm openly weeping now. The lady says, "Do you need a minute? The bathroom is there." I'm sure she was thinking, "Some people are real babies in the dental chair."

    So I head in and...., omg - 'don't look in the mirror.' Takes me five minutes but the water doesn't accommodate or improve my red eyes, blotchy skin and.. oh yah, - so subtly drooping left side of my lip. I go out and quickly settle matters.
  • I am glad my son is "average" and I do pat myself on the back for that rather than give the psychologist her 10 minutes of glory thinking "Why is this kid here - he's normal!" I think back to his toddler years of spinning him, bouncing him on balls, skidding him around floors on a blanket - doing my own little sensory gymn with him to help his little body come into balance.

    The mental struggles about not medicating him - "He's too young - does he really need it?" - until failing almost every grade and the agony I saw in his eyes was too much to bare.

    So I gave in.

    But it was the right thing. He is so happy now, he is doing well. It has all paid off in the long run.
  • I guess the roles have reversed.

    I'm not so normal or average these days. This car has too many miles and has been through some rough terrain and I'm afraid it's showing. The medication doesn't mitigate everything for me. 'Mitigate' - is that the right word? My poor brain doesn't even work that well anymore.

    But the crying helped. Sometimes you need to open the floodgates.

    I cried that my son is normal and - I cried that I'm not.

    But, I am more than happy for him to have that label - average - normal.

    More than happy.
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