I just couldn’t sleep. The day had been long, my eyes were stinging from exhaustion, but sleep would not come. Was I transported back to those childhood days where lovely imaginative thoughts filled my mind? Was I awake with a spirit and energy deep within, pounding excitement in my heart that would keep sleep at bay?

You see, my Chaim Boruch was going on his first field trip ever! He was invited to join the typical second-grade class on their field trip, with his aide, to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

And while my sweet son slept peacefully, Sleep would not comeI lay in bed, awake, full of excitement for the new day to begin, the new experience to emerge.

For the past two weeks, our entire family had shared our excitement and anticipation with Chaim Boruch. We were rejoicing in this moment of normalcy, a victory of “same” over “different,” a milestone often taken for granted.

It’s obvious that Chaim Boruch felt our excitement, our pride and our love.

Yet it was I who could not sleep. His mother who would lie awake from sheer gratitude.

Sometimes I want “normal” so badly. I want it so badly that it hurts. I desire it so intensely that I can’t sleep. I can only dream.

And while a field trip can be a mere “day in the life” of a child, for me it was much more.

It was a blossoming field in my soul, with tall grass and flowers and the sweet, fresh scent of life, discovery, nature and growth.

It was a trip within my heart, a journey on unsure ground, with lush grass, abundant earth tones and solid footing.

A “field trip” like no other.

A field trip that changed my life. A journey of hope, of dreams coming true, of my special son defining “special” all over again. And again.

And then the sound of the bus’s engine, rumbling around the corner, brought me instantly to the curb to welcome home my special boy.I bombarded him with a myriad of questions

A huge smile. A magnificent grin. Sparkling eyes.

I bombarded him with a myriad of questions about his field trip. Yet I was met with silence. A calm, knowing silence.

We held hands and walked from the curb into our home. Happy and silent.

Thank you, Chaim Boruch, for letting me come along for the ride within your heart.

A “field trip” of the mind, heart and soul. A “field trip” like no other.