Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Open Letter to My Daughter's Support System

Tis the season where you shop for your family and your kids' friends and your kids' teachers....and so on and so forth.

I will, without a doubt, post again about the holidays, but today's shout goes out to the host of people that brings me zipped coats and intelligible words.

I have to buy gifts for the people who I live with.  I have to buy for family members who are hard to buy for.  I have to buy for people who expect presents, but are not happy with anything.  I get to buy for people who are easy, and I get to buy for people who are excited for anything...but those are mixed in with obligation gifts.  And just because someone is easy or hard to buy for, in no way illustrates who I love deeply...

The list of people that I LOVE to buy for is short. 

The list of people that I would LOVE to buy for is ridiculously long.

And every year I am faced with squeezing the budget for that last category. 

But I want to take this moment to say to my daughter's teachers, aides, and therapists:

I wish I could buy each and every one of you a loaded gift card for Target or Staples, a trip to the spa for a massage, luxurious goodies, and a trip to Hawaii.

The work that you put in over YEARS of fighting for the same thing for my kid, is not unnoticed.  That we have been working and crying together for tied shoes and zipped coats and clearly written alphabet and spoken pronouns for 10 years...well, we are sisters and brothers-in-arms.  You know better even than most of my family how HARD it's been crawling up canyon walls to get to heinously behind, wrestling our way up from static and stalled.

You have been the backbone to Elise's scholastic achievement and her social successes.  I don't lay down on the job, but I also know I can't do it alone.  I know some tricks, but you know many more, and are continuously learning for MY KID.  You learn the hard way how 6-50 kids react in stressful situations.  You take even physical abuse protecting my child from herself.  You go home every night, trying to figure out what else MIGHT work for 10 kids...and you make mine feel like she is your most beloved.  You reach out to me when I cry at IEP meetings, crying with me and offering me comfort.

If I sat on Santa's lap right now, I would wish that every single time you opened your desk drawer, you would discover just exactly what you needed.

I will have to content myself with gifts that actually depress me to give desperation that you feel how much I value you.

Because this year for Christmas, you gave me a kid who could talk on the phone with me and make sense, and, despite warning me that she may never be able to zip her own jacket zippers two years ago, she has done so, BY HERSELF this month, for the first time.  I have gotten more weepy about that than my son applying to colleges (shhhh, don't tell him).

Thank you.  You are the very best sort of elves.  You work magic with my girl and you do it with creativity and the most amazing ethic.  And, frankly, you don't get paid nearly enough for all the magic beans you plant in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Tiffany,
    I am speechless, with tears flowing down my face all I can say is this has deeply touched me ! As I enter my 28 year of teaching Special Needs I still remember the days I spent with each child that has touched my life. LOVE YOU Tiffany, Ethan and Elise !
    HUGS Mrs. Lesa Barnett