Today I watched those students turn and stare at my boy-most-precious. His cerebral palsy gait, his body’s strange angles drew their curiosity as we made our way down the halls of that huge high school — and I squared my shoulders and lifted my head.
Special Education Director Meeting #1. High school transition.
Till’s anxious stroking of his knee, the softened corners of his mouth betray his welling emotions. That pit in my own stomach feeds the maelstrom pounding at my brain.
This is it, Nic. What you’ve feared for 14 years. We’ll never make it through high school unscathed.
But years of frightful thoughts have taught me… and I steeled myself as I took that vinyl seat.
Every one of my kids has been able to say it:
What does suffering produce?
What does perseverance produce?
And what does character produce?
And why does hope not disappoint us?
Because God has poured out his love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
And so again, I square my shoulders and I lift my head. “Tillman, I am SO proud of you. High school will be hard, but you are really good at doing hard things.”
“Yup,” he answers with certainty, and his teacher’s eyes fill with tears.
My mind floods with face after face after face of the friends and teachers and mentors who have stood by Tillman every step of the way. So many unexpected moments of joy, even right in the middle of pain. And I close my eyes for just a moment … and breathe in…