I sit at the kitchen table. Peeling and slicing apples for pie. Liam
is in the other room, happily playing games on the computer.
He's quiet. He's happy. I'm enjoying the "down" time.
I gaze out the window at the freshly falling snow. I admire the beauty
of the trees covered in white fluff. I begin to hear
children laughing. Children screaming. Children having fun. Then I see
all the neighborhood children, dragging sleds and
embarking on the trek to the hill. They are going sledding.
A tear creeps from my eye, and I wipe it before it rolls into the
apples. Before I know it, it's followed by more. I am crying.
Silently I weep, while in the other room, my son has no clue as to my pain.
No one knocks on our door to ask Liam to play. No one thinks of
including him. This rips my heart out. Today Liam has no clue.
Other days he asks, "Momma, how come I always ask kids to play (sled) with me, but how come they don't ask me to play (sled) with them?"
You see, he knows. He knows he's not included. He knows he's
different. He knows the other children know this.
So even though, at this moment it isn't phasing him, it's enraging me.
I shove the feelings down. I bury them deeper. Liam begins chatting
about his game. His current perseveration is this game, so it's all he talks
about. I start to wash the dishes.
Now the children are heading home. Still laughing. Still happy.
Walking through my yard to get home. They don't need to walk
through my yard. It's actually the long way home.
I want to scream at them. I want to tell them to get the hell out of
my yard. But I don't.
I don't because they are just kids. Even though these are the kids
that call my child an "autistic r-word." Even though these are the kids
that call him gay. Even though these are the very same kids that make
our lives hell in the warmer months, I don't say a word.
I keep quiet because it does no good. I keep quiet because they are a
product of their environment. I keep quiet because they are kids. Just kids.
I have reached out to them. To their parents. It does no good. They
still bully my child. So, even though I know my son is
better off NOT playing with them, it still rips my heart out.
To have a child who's not wanted. Not included. Not cared about. It
hurts. It rocks you to your core, and it hurts like hell.
This life isn't always easy. For them, or for us. But we need to keep
on, because some things will never change.
I put a smile on my face and I move on. I push the anger down, for
another day. Because today I don't have the strength to
face it. Today, I just want to smile.