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.

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