Grieving Over The Reality Of 2e


Today … how do I even describe today?  The part of the doctor’s visit where I found myself physically restraining my son not once, but twice in an hour’s span?  The part where he complained that the Brainpop video about carnivorous plants didn’t have anything new in it – he knew it all.  “And mommy, they called them creepy!  They’re NOT creepy!”

The part where he lost it emotionally over his little brother taking apart his carefully designed train track?  Where he lay weeping on the floor, inconsolable over a toy that could easily be rebuilt?

Today was more than the last few days have been.  The last few weeks – months even.  I had lulled myself into forgetting what life can be like with 2e because we had such a great stretch of improvement.  Today was a bobble.   A stumble along the road of maturity.  But it still sent me into a tailspin of mourning what he can’t have.


On our last field trip into D.C. we walked past the Capitol.  Seat of government, politics, and last-minute back room deals.  It’s an amazing structure, and he’s never been inside.  Up until now he never questioned why.

“Mommy, I want to go inside and see what it’s like.”  I told him no, he couldn’t handle it.  I explained that he would have to walk with the group, listen quietly, and stay calm no matter what.

As hard as it was, I told him that I didn’t believe that he was mature enough to go inside.

As hard as it is to admit to myself, I know he may never be mature enough to go inside.


Twice exceptional kids are caught between the highest mountain of ability and the deepest chasm of disability.  They are capable of so much – but unable to accomplish everything that they want.  It’s heartbreaking to see.  It’s even more heartbreaking to live it.

Today at the doctor’s office, I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions of everyone who witnessed the second meltdown.  The people in the waiting room pointedly didn’t watch.  The staff waited patiently until I got him calmed down, and then resumed right where we left off.  The doctor was super tolerant of the sensory seeking “touch everything in sight!” issues and redirected him easily.  It was a minor blip in our day, really.

Not so minor  when it sends me into a spiral of grief and mourning.

I want him to do everything he dreams of.  I want him to live the life he wants.  I want him to be able to wait patiently, talk composedly, and listen quietly.  I want him to be himself, without all the extra struggles and battles that he deals with.  I know that he can’t have that.  That life will always be more – more difficult, more stress, more struggles.


In time, he will mature.  He will do better, struggle less, and grow to handle it gracefully.  I know this.  But for now, I grieve over it.  I worry about it.  I cry over my son’s heartbreaking struggles.

As we left the doctor’s office, he told me he was sorry.  He sounded so defeated – and I told him “I know you tried.”


On the way home he flipped the switch to amazing kid and gushed over his birthday cake that we were planning.  “I can’t believe I’m getting the cake I’ve always dreamed of!”  Guess what he asked for?  A venus fly trap birthday cake.  2e in a nutshell!

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