After one too many rides home from school with tears in my son’s eyes because he couldn’t read his own handwriting, my partner and I finally requested an iep meeting. He has non-verbal learning disorder and this was a long time in the solving. He is nine now and his frustrations are just coming to a head academically. Socially he is so gregarious and fair that he has been able to muddle passed most non-verbal cues. This diagnosis reaches me with both sadness and absolute relief. Sadness for the lifelong struggle my son will have. The relief is many fold. One that we might begin to teach and learn some strategies for coping with this. Two that our instincts about our son were not in the wrong. It is very difficult to barrel forward ignoring family and friends who are rolling eyes or worse yet commenting on our shortcomings. The boy has needed extra explanations, time and patience. He does not have the graces of inference or body awareness. He misses most of that and it has been our task to verbally explain the visual. Thus, we are accused of talking too much. Lookers on wish that we might be short and succinct, but we have learned that this only leads to broader frustration and often lengthy outbursts. I have fallen prey to insecurity, embarrassment has seized my judgment . I have lashed back at my son. Prior to this creatures descent on my space I barely raised my voice above a mumble, now I find I am capable of spewing putrid parental esteem crushers at top volume. Buying whole hog my parents theory that children do what they do just to get a rise out of you. For a solid two years between 5 and 7 my son could not even pick his nose without my launching into a lecture. Thankfully, with maturity, his and mine, has come more pleasant moments than not, and as we sit in the eye of our storm, I am digging deep to find my peaceful place again. It is my job to push ego aside, return to my instincts and parent as the person I am now and not the frustrated child of my past. Through the eyes of myself in a state of confidence I am able to see what a beautiful boy my son is and I would be honored to be his ally as he ventures forward.