I miss the special needs support network I had before we moved. I didn't realize what a incredible blessing it was to have so many friends with children with Down syndrome, and to be involved in the Early Intervention program which surrounded us with other developmentally delayed children.
Antalya is the only child with special needs in her school. It's great for her, but I struggle a lot with it. Just getting to and from school with both Antalya and Victoria is an ordeal. An ordeal that I don't mind, except for the fact that everyone else in the preschool seems so perfectly British in that they are so proper and well-behaved, and I feel every pair of eyes on us every time we enter and leave.
I know I'm being ultra-sensitive here, but I resent that fact that every day several others moms see me struggling to communicate with Antalya, and see me struggle as I try to keep her with me as I push Victoria in the stroller, and see me struggle as I try to work through Antalya's meltdowns. I feel like they pity me, which probably isn't true, but it's how I feel. I want them to reach out to Antalya because she is a darling, fun, loving, and sweet three year old. I don't want them to see the way she screams and hits, and throws herself on the concrete because someone thought they were being kind by holding the gate open for us instead of letting Antalya do it herself, or because someone said hello to Antalya in just the wrong way and made her feel threatened, or because someone rode their bike to school and Antalya doesn't understand why it isn't her bike.
I don't want her classmates to know her as the girl that doesn't talk, or the girl that yells when she is frustrated, or the girl that doesn't use the toilet like all the rest of them, or the girl that is different. I want them to love her because she is funny. Because she loves to have fun. Because she is so full of life. Because she has so much love for everyone.
Sometimes I just want us to be like everyone else. To not hear little voices asking their moms why Antalya does things the way she does, to not have eyes watching our struggles. To just be one of the crowd.