Laughter, a safe place, and a tear

His face lit up with laughter, his eyes dancing as he eagerly tried to climb up and bring the story closer and closer to himself.

A gentle reminder from the librarian and he was down again, at least, until the next page when he sprung back to life, eager and excited by the room buzzing around him.

I’m not sure if anyone noticed me, standing off to the side, wound tighter than a spring, ready  to intervene. I’m fairly certain no one noticed as I wiped a stray tear or two away when my little one jumped up and enthusiastically clapped his hands a full measure behind the rest of the group during songs.

To the few who noticed me, I probably appeared half mom, half helicopter, buzzing around until I took our youngest back out to the  fish tank which has left his imagination abuzz and let my husband step in to watch our oldest who was enjoying story time with the passion he so often brings to  things . .  . on good days.

You see, while the hovering was noticeable there was so much that wasn’t.  The sensory issues we’ve fought for 2 years to have recognized because we “coped” better than others that give him his high energy but also contribute to ground shaking meltdowns. Our son’s lack of boundaries that allows him to open  up to strangers as well as family. The communication delays that can leave him struggling to follow the fast moving rhythms of a group.

I shed a tear that busy, messy Saturday because after months of work we had a normal family outing. My boys  joined in with the group games and songs, they came home and told their grandparents about their grand adventures,and went to bed with smiles on their faces.

The library has become a safe space. When your child has an invisible condition, the safety, the ability to sit and watch your child’s, and in some cases your own, world expand even slightly is such a monumental victory wrapped up in such an inconsequential package to  the unknowing eye, that you  want to shout it  from the rooftops.

Yet, it still begs the question,how many in those scenarios, see the child who has overcome and how many see a child taking away from their experience. How do  we change


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