Jack just completed his triennial evaluation for services. Today we had his ETR meeting to go over the results. He’s great at math, but struggles with reading. He can write his name, but his fine motor skills need help. He wants to be social, but he withdraws and doesn’t invite others to play. He is less rigid than he was, but he still needs his routine. He’s atypical. He flaps when he’s anxious and jumps when he’s happy. He loves school, but it’s too loud.

Not one word of any of the feedback today surprised me at all. I am used to sitting through evaluations and IEPs and appointments and hearing these things. It’s nothing new and not my first rodeo, but it still stings. Jack is who he is and who he is meant to be, but I worry about him—especially when it comes to the social part. He’s in kindergarten now and it’s only going to get harder as he ages. The differences between him and his peers will only become more noticeable. This world is not kind to those who are deemed “different” and that simultaneously worries and breaks my mama heart.

Days like today take me back to diagnosis day—back before the progress and growth and there was only an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and uncertainty. Jack has an amazing team of educators and therapists and support staff in his corner. They were quick to remind me of how amazing my boy is as my tears fell and remind me that while he isn’t there yet, he will be.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the power of yet. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we each get there in our own timing. Sometimes we need to be reminded that not now just means not yet and not yet does not mean never. And I know those things to be true. I know Jack will get to where he’s going in his own time and I could not be prouder of how far he has come. But, goodness, days like today still sting.

This post originally appeared on How Many Monkeys Are Jumping On the Bed?

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