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The Anguish and the Beauty of Special-Needs Parenting

Looking out my window.  Neighbor lady patiently
Trying to coax her foster son into car.
Huge boy, adult body, child mind.
Waiting-watching parent, trying to encourage.  Showing patience.
Patting him.  Gesturing.  Taking time to unwind.

He’s in, he’s finally in! 
That is, his head’s inside; upper body leaning;
But he refuses to sit.
His legs are still out.
No matter the gestures, no meaning;
And then finally he sits.
Hurray!
But no, he doesn’t turn and slide.
His legs are still out.

Patient she is, this caring mother.
How quietly-sturdy beautiful.

I leave the window.  Five minutes pass,
And I, returning, see the boy, huge boy,
Still sitting in the car, on the seat;
But his legs are still out.
Moreover, he’s crossed his arms and clenched his fists,
As if confronted by horrid-monster-mists.
He shakes his crossed arms violently.
His head is going, “No, no, no!”
And mother still encourages; does not shout.

Brave mother.  Beautiful.
A beauty only God can see –
And me, a neighbor, watching,
Admiring her beauty full.

Her name won’t show in a record book;
She doesn’t have time to have a blog-brag,
Or to do “great things” so our community can look.
Sometimes her feelings must flow limp rags.
But there she stands, in patient time.
God bless the son and “fare him well”.
God bless this mother, brave-quiet and beautiful:
One of the unsung heroes of our time.


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