learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

How It Is

Little bear is still sick, sadly. He’s snuggled on the couch drooling on my pillow as I type this.

I texted one of his therapists this morning, someone he adores intensely and who adores him just as much in turn I think, and let her know we had to cancel today. Even if I read things wrong, it’s nice to think that they care as much about him as I do. I know most of them if not all appreciate his general demeanor. He is a happy child overall, even with his peculiar way of approaching the world. He near always greets with big smiles and will crack them up at least once a visit if not more.

So, as my train of thought often does, it veered wildly from thinking about that off into the scary forest of Future Tense. I wondered what it will be like for my little boy in a few years, in a decade, when he is grown… Will this boy still be so sweet, loving and joyful?

That’s when I got scared. That’s when I got sad.

Right now, he has the blessing of ignorance on his side. People see him as just a charming, if somewhat odd, little boy. He’s adorable. It saves his hide even from me in a lot of ways. He is treated gently accordingly a lot of the time (there’s always those people who are just born to be cruel no matter what they’re faced with. Let’s ignore them.) and he has no reason in this world to even realize there’s something different about him. He’s given the safety and security to just be himself. 

What happens the day he realizes he’s different? What will that do to his world view? How will that impact him?

Forseeing pain for your child is gut wrenching. You never want them to hurt. You know they will, for that’s a major part of the human condition, but all you want to do is shield and save them. This demon I can’t hold off forever. I can prepare him, I can bolster him, I can hold his hand and remind him of who at heart he truly is… but I can’t take this weight off his shoulders when it comes to bear. 

My dear, gentle boy.. You are different. You’re very different. I’m sorry for the times you might come to feel that life would be so much better if you were “normal” but that’s not the way the dye was cast for you. You don’t need to be normal. You need to be you… Beautiful, expressive, loving and hilarous you. It’s okay to feel sad, or mad, or all of that. We all do. I just hope you realize how precious you are exactly the way you were made and what a treasure that is. 

We’ll make it work. To use the words of Temple Grandin… You’re different, not less. You are loved for exactly how you are. 


Good sir, taking pictures of himself as he so loves to do.


  1. Erin

    He will know that he is different, but he will also know that he is loved, and that will make all the difference.

    • nicole

      Thank you. I tell him every day he is loved to the point I think the author of “The Help” might come after me for copying how Mae Mobley was told all the good things about herself.

  2. Another Piece of Cake

    My child’s in early intervention, and even though I cannot claim to know exactly how you feel, I know what it’s like to fear for your child because of their differences. I try to remember that a disability can eventually be someone’s greatest strength. Beautiful post. I hope your bear feels better.

    • nicole

      Early Intervention has been so amazing to us. I feel blessed to have met all these wonderful people and my heart is going to break a little when we have to part ways with a lot of them come June. I am trying to remember that his differences are his strengths too… but logic brain and emotional brain do not speak the same language. They really need to work on that, those brains 😉 Thank you – The monster is feeling better-ish today after being so feverish and just gross most of the week. Baby steps.

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