3 times a special needs child did the perfect thing, and they had no idea what I was going through

Throughout the three short years I’ve had of working with elementary special needs children, there have been several encounters that brought me to tears of joy. I feel like sharing three of these precious moments with you to let you know just how comforting a child that’s “different” really can be, even when they don’t know what you’re going through.

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When Jesse hugged me after I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called systemic lupus in April of 2014.

Jesse had a traumatic brain injury. He also had a speech impairment and needed help in many different ways. I loved helping him. The day after I was officially diagnosed, I was sitting at the lunch table with Jesse in the cafeteria and he was playing with orange slices in his mouth. He put one in his mouth, like we all did when we were little to show the other person that our smile was in fact not teeth, but an orange’s skin. I giggled, but the smile didn’t reach my eyes. He looked at me for more than three seconds and said, “Nee hug.” He reached out his arms gesturing me to come to him, but it sounded more like, “Come he, come he.” I scooted towards him and hugged him, feeling like he became the adult and I was all of a sudden a child in desperate need of a hug. I instantly felt like everything was going to be OK. A child’s hug is everything.

Continue reading “3 times a special needs child did the perfect thing, and they had no idea what I was going through”

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Finding serenity when my father left {and what it prepared me for}

My childhood was filled with affectionate and devoted parents. My mother and stepfather (I never actually call him that) raised me into who I am today. My youth was filled with bicycle rides on warm, sunlit days proceeded by frosty nights playing Monopoly with too many marshmallows in our hot cocoa mugs, but it wasn’t always like this.

Continue reading “Finding serenity when my father left {and what it prepared me for}”