“Something exciting is happening on Monday,”. This was the statement from Bailey while we were at dinner a few nights ago. He shared that his job coach had been there that day and his boss would be calling me. First of all, when I hear “my boss will be calling you” that is usually code for “I am doing something I shouldn’t be doing”.
When he first started his job, Bailey would periodically leave his station to socialize with the faculty members. Then there were a couple of times that he was sneaking fries that he was suppose to be serving. I guess I have a little lingering PTSD from all the phone calls I would receive from teachers who weren’t creative enough to deal with some of his behaviors. He has been an employee at this local high school for three years now and we have worked out the kinks, but I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am waiting for the phone call that says “we don’t need him anymore”.
I realize that feelings aren’t facts and that he is working in the perfect environment. He has mentors that are interested in teaching him new skills and he is loved. But, anyone with a child with special needs will tell you, we simply want our kids to fit. Find a place to belong. I know this place is it, but there is always the nagging voice in my head which leaves me in a place of heightened alert.
I texted his boss on Friday to check in and expand on what Bailey was telling me. He responded, “No reason for you to come in. Bailey is having his performance review and is getting a raise. He is doing a great job.” There was my exhale. Of course, when I shared what I learned from Bailey, he responded, “I told you it was good news”. Yep, I jump to the farthest conclusion from the truth. Because past experience dictates a need for me to react. Geez, I need to relax. Enjoy the ride. Applaud how far we have come and exhale. I feel like I have held my breath for twenty-three years getting to this point.
There will be other battles to fight, other issues to work out and other things to advocate for, but at this moment, Bailey is exactly where I always hoped he would be. He is home.