Every time I send my baby off into the world without me, a million fears wonder through my mind.
That is true for all parents, but it’s extra true for special needs parents.
Our babies can’t speak.
If they get lost, they can’t tell you who they are or where they live.
If they are hurt, they can’t communicate what is wrong.
If someone hurts them, they can’t fight back or ask for help.
They don’t understand safety.
They don’t know that there are not nice people in the world.
They are defenseless, and to be honest, it is absolutely terrifying.
My little guy, he is my whole world.
I want to protect him from everything and, the truth is, I can’t.
I can’t be there all the time.
Out of the millions of fears that I have, there is one fear that I don’t have.
I don’t have to worry about something happening to him at school.
I don’t have to worry about someone not paying attention.
Or someone hurting him.
Or losing him.
Or mistreating him.
It might sound silly or absurd, but it’s not.
You see, the truth is, that not all special needs parents feel that way.
Some special needs parents are horrified of what goes on at school.
Some special needs parents have to fight for their children’s needs to be met.
But, because of you, that is one less worry that I have each night when I go to sleep.
Because of you, I know that from the time my boy gets off the bus in the morning until the time he comes back to me each night, he will be cared for.
He will be protected.
He will be loved.
He will be okay, because of you.
This week is teacher appreciation week and I want you to know that I appreciate you more than words could ever say.
You choose a profession with very little thanks but I am thankful.
I am so thankful that people like you exist in our world.
And so, from the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you.
Thank you to the ones who love our babies.
Thank you to the teachers who advocate for their students.
Thank you to the ones who work long past classroom hours.
Thank you for wiping little noses and changing little butts.
Thank you for texting me to remind me when permission slips are due and spirit weeks are happening, because you know that my life is crazy, and I probably forgot.
Thank you for always being honest with me, even when you have something to say that is hard to hear.
Thank you for spending your summers making sure my boy does not regress.
Thank you for spending your weekends researching future schools and making lists of questions.
Thank you for loving my son, like he is your own.
Thank you for taking care of him the same way I do.
You probably think that you are not doing anything special.
You probably think that you are just doing your job.
You probably think that you are just a teacher, but you’re not.
You’re so much more.
You change my boy’s life, each and every day.
You are an advocate.
You are superhero.
You are an answer to this mama’s prayers.
I have a million fears each day, but there would be so many more without you.
On this teachers appreciation day, I want to say thank you to all the teachers.
To all the paras and all the therapists.
But especially the Special Needs Teachers.
Especially to you.
I want to say thank you for being the person you are.
I want to say thank you for being so much more than just a teacher.
Also, that I owe you a bottle of wine (or maybe a case).