Penny is dressed up for homecoming and smiles in front of a window

Homecoming and Belonging

As a mother of a child with a disability, school events can be rough. I’m talking about everything from dances to sports to eating lunch in the cafeteria. I don’t know what happens during social times. Does anyone say hello? Does anyone dance with her? Is she noticed? And welcomed? Does she feel like she belongs?

It is not my place to tell the stories of the times when my fears have been realized, in part or in full. That’s one of the problems of social media, and of writing publicly in general. I feel free to tell you when things go right. When kindness wins. When other people are awesome. 

And while I also tell you about things that are hard for me personally, I don’t feel free to tell you about the details of those things when they involve our kids. Those are their stories. Not mine.

SO I’m not giving you much of the back story here. I just want to say that Homecoming this year was delightful. Penny went shopping with her friend Ona, and they both bought dresses together. Marilee helped her do her makeup, and it was a gift to watch her gentle and respectful care for her big sister. Penny went to the dance and came out late because she wanted to stay there with the other seniors. Ona’s mom sent me photos of the girls together.

You can fill in the blanks as well as I can. Sometimes prayers are answered. Sometimes people are kind. Sometimes friendship is mutual and beautiful and real. It was a good night.

More with Amy Julia:

Using the Spiritual Imagination as a Vehicle for Hope
From Safety to Health for Our Kids
“They aren’t special needs. They are human needs.”

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