Dear Son,

You got sent home from school today.
For being fifteen minutes late.
You got sent home because that was the only way the school knew how to deal with you.
Believe me, I wish it did not have to happen.
I know you packed your bag and brought all your belongings home.
I know.
I know that is a sign of how “wronged” you felt.

Son, I know what this school means to you. I know that even getting there for six whole weeks has in itself been an enormous achievement.
I know how afraid you were to go.
I know that you have not been in school for six years, not been able to keep a job, not really done anything.
I know how you felt about yourself.
I know you felt you could not do anything; I know you feel you are intellectually disabled.

I know they didn’t have a reply for youI also know that you struggled as a young child to keep up.
I know you were diagnosed with severe learning difficulties.
I know that the tests showed you have a seizure every three minutes for three seconds.
I know and you know.

I know how you felt when your father was diagnosed with cancer.
I know how afraid you were.
I know, I know.

I know you finally felt accepted.
I know you finally felt the teacher found something in you.
I know how proud you were of yourself when you said you had done something good.
I know you felt good because you got up and you went, and no matter how hard it was, you persisted.

I know you asked the school before you left today “if they knew what they were doing to a kid who had really been trying so hard.”
I knew you were asking them if they knew how hard it has been and how well you have done.
And I know they didn’t have a reply for you.

I know you kept your mouth shut and could have said a lot more.
I know what you could have done.
I’m your mother, I know.

There are very few people who understand what it is to be different I also know, son, that there are really very few people who understand what it is to be different.
What is means to be in a world where it is a struggle.
What it means to change a lifestyle.
I know, you know, but they don’t know.

And because I know all of this, I also know that you can survive this.
That you can take that filled bag right back in there.
And you can know, in full confidence, that you can do it.

I know you—you are not a quitter.
You are not “tardy”—as they called you—by nature.
You are a real survivor.
I know that you have gotten yourself this far, against the odds.
And you and I know that you are not going to give up now.

So hang on in there, my son.
Life is tough, and there are rules.
And you have to keep them.

And know one last thing.
And that is that you are not alone.
And He who is guarding you knows your struggles and your efforts and your amazing achievements.
And after you understand that, there is nothing more to know.