“But the other kids are going to know I’m leaving.” She lamented.
I could have lied. I could have lost her trust by trying to convince her that, no, they wouldn’t.
But I met her where she was.
“Yes. Yes, they will. And this is a choice you have to make.” I said, instead.
“Either you endure a read-aloud that sends you into a full-blown panic-attack or you make accommodations for yourself, like anyone else with a disability does and you excuse yourself to the library. In other words, you own it.”
For me, it’s environmental allergies. When I pet a dog, I immediately wash my hands. I’ve owned dogs. I love dogs, I take allergy shots for dogs, but I am, alas, allergic to dogs. I make accommodations.
For her sister, it’s food allergies. I make separate meals three times a day to accommodate.
My daughter suffers from anxiety. We treat with professionals and we do the best we can do avoid triggers, when we can.
“What will I say, when they ask why I’m reading a different book?”
“You tell them the truth.” I explain. “You own it, you brave, girl. And you give others the chance to know that they are not alone, if they, too, feel the same way.”
We are Carawans.
We don’t run.
We face, own and conquer.
Here’s your chance to shine.
You brave girl.
[Posted with her permission]