To my sensitive child:
It hurts me that you’re going through such a hard time. I wish I could take away all of your negative feelings and thoughts so you could see how truly amazing you are.
You are special because you feel things so deeply. You have complex thoughts that many kids your age can’t comprehend. You are capable of a wide range of emotions that mirror those of a much older child, or even an adult. But you are easily overwhelmed, and sometimes the world around you often seems unsafe. To a sensitive child like you, sometimes it’s too much to take in at once. You worry more than I do, and that’s saying something. And sometimes, you need extra reassurance that everybody is not mean.
You are also sweet and caring. You used to have me fooled, when I thought you didn’t feel empathy for others, but the truth is that you just don’t express empathy the same way other people do. But when I need you to care, there you are–and you make me feel safe. You make me feel so loved. There is no better feeling in the world than having you wrap your arms around me for a big, tight hug.
I am so proud to be your mother. Things that come naturally to other kids are obstacles for you, and even when you are nervous, you still give it your best shot. You are starting to try new things all the time now, and Dad and I are so happy. I know it’s not easy, because new things are scary.
Other people might not understand you. They might have a hard time realizing that transitions are tough, and surprises (even good ones) can be intimidating for a highly sensitive child. They don’t get why jeans are too scratchy, hand dryers are too loud, and some smells are revolting. People who don’t know you very well might tickle you, ask you strange questions, or get offended when you can’t respond to them. As you grow, and as I grow to understand you more, we will get better at finding the right words to say to these people.
I still have a lot to learn about you. I feel lucky to have a son who teaches me so much. Some days, I even think you’re already smarter than me!
I want you to always know that I will never give up. Even on the hard days, when it seems like everybody is your enemy, including me, I want you to know that you’re still my favorite person. No matter what you say or do, I will love you more than anyone else in the world and that will never change.
You are smart.
You are funny.
You are sweet.
You are good.
You are unique.
You are awesome.
You are my greatest adventure.
To read an earlier post about our journey toward a special needs diagnosis for HJ, click here.