Each of us has a reason for why we are in this sport. In fact, each of us have a few “why” reasons. Tonight I swam with my heart and I swam with a vengeance. I swam for our son. I swam for his future, I swam for his chance and I swam because I am hurting. I can not allow him to see anything but strength, I will never allow him to see me weak.
Inside of my goggles I cried for 4,000 yards. I cried because I know what it is like to have no one believe in you. I know what it is like to be condemned. I know what it is like to be told you are stupid. I know what it is like to be told I will never make it in the world.
Our son has what has become the buzz phrase “special needs”. Essentially he is a square peg that the school district wants to stuff into a round hole. He is a very bright beautiful sunshine that they want to turn off. He is a child with exquisite wonder, fascination and abundant love within him.
And they try to squeeze all of that out of him so that he becomes molded into the round peg…. just like everyone else.
At my CSE meeting on Thursday I was surrounded by 12 people who told me negative things about my son. Who highlighted his limitations. Only his speech therapist and his occupational therapist spoke of his strengths.
Well I shall raise my middle finger to all of them. Because this is not a child who will be kicked around. This is not a child who will be condemned because he does not fit the mold.
This is a child who will have 110% support from his family. This is a child who will grow up believing in himself, believing that he can, and learning that anything is possible.
I will never allow his brain chemistry to be changed in any way, shape or form. It was one of the greatest things my own parents protected me from. For my son I shall do the same.
I am his tower of strength. I am his advocate. I am armed and ready for the meeting on Tuesday when again the ratio will be 12:1. 12 against him, but one for him.
And he will never know about the 12 against him. He will only know that we are in his corner, and that we love him.
Give a man a fish and he will again be hungry. Teach a man to fish and he will never know hunger again.
So tonight I cried….. I allowed the pain to move through me. I allowed myself to feel the pain and agony of what they are trying to do to him. And when I was finished, 4,000 yards later…… I felt peace. I felt my strength renewed. I stood tall as I left the pool and I walked confidently with him in my thoughts.
Perseverance. I invented it.