To the Person on the Other Side of the Table in Our Son’s Placement Meeting


The tension in the room was palpable. We both came to the table with a chip on our shoulder — You because I was questioning too much, and Me because I didn’t like your answers.

The problem is that we come from different sides of the track, you and I. You’re all about the purse strings, while I’m all about the heart strings. You see my son as a burden while I see him as a blessing. You see him as an adult who’s a fiscal drain on your limited funds while I see him as my baby boy who’s as deserving as the next. You’re all about the quantity while I’m all about the quality.

You see me as irrational while I see you as un-emotional. You feel I’m asking for too much, that my expectations are too lofty. You try to convince me we should be happy with the minimum. You make me feel greedy for wanting it all for my son. You see me as stubborn. You also see that you will never convince me that he’s not deserving of his own room in his current community where we can be active participants in his life. He’s deserving of all of it! Why can’t he be afforded the same opportunities as anyone else?

If only we could trade glasses for even a day. If you could see my son the way I do then you would fight. You would do everything you could to ensure he has a safe and happy environment. You would understand my fears for his uncertain future. You would do whatever it takes.

I’m not sure we will ever see eye to eye, but that’s why I’m glad you met us. You need to see that there are faces behind the names that come across your desk. It’s easy to say no to a piece of paper, but when you have a living, breathing family in front of you it has to touch you. I pray we touched you in some way.

I’m resilient. You saw me cry, but don’t confuse that with weakness. I’m battered and bruised after our meeting, but I’m not down and out. We’ve faced  greater adversaries than you, and some how, some way we always emerge victorious.

So excuse me while I pick myself up, brush myself off and figure out a way — there’s always a way.

Oh, and give me back my glasses, I can’t see a thing through yours.

This post originally appeared on Monkey Business.

Want to end the stigma around disability? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Other

When We Realized Why My Sister Understands My Son With Autism So Well

I am the oldest of three sisters. One sister is two years younger than I am, and one is five years younger. I was born a social rule follower, always working towards being an appreciated member of the team. Middle Sis was… different. As a baby, she always wanted to be held by our mom, [...]

I Used to Live in a World Where I Wished Death Upon My Own Child

I can tell you the exact moment that I fell in love with my son. It was two days after his first Christmas, and I peeked in at him before crawling into bed. He was lying there asleep on his belly, just like he had every night since the day we brought him home from [...]

Why Hearing ‘You’re Stronger Than Most People’ Makes Me Feel Awful

Recently I was trying to explain to my hubby why it sometimes gets under my skin when people tell me (regarding Esmé) things like, “I don’t know how you do it… you’re just stronger than most people.” He said that I should take it at face-value and just accept the compliment that it is no [...]

The Beautiful Moment I Discovered My Son’s Outlet for His Emotions

Music is a powerful medium, isn’t it? It can lift you up in an instant or leave you teary-eyed as you ponder a memory, the sound washing over you. We love music in our household and there is no musical genre where we fear to tread. Rock? Yes, sir. Reggae? You bet! Experimental euro thrash [...]