Is hope a slippery slope, or an uplifting emotion?

Hope and I have not always been on the best of terms. I often feel like hope misleads me, and then lets me down. I have hoped for so many things for my son, Ricochet, only to fall into disappointment in the end. While hope is a powerful tool to keep us moving forward, it can also cause despair. I’ve told myself many times to stop hoping for things so I won’t be disappointed in the end — to expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised if it works out. I’ve told myself, but hope always finds a way to creep in. Hope floats like that, and it’s a good thing it does.

Between my books, this blog, and my former blog, it’s no secret that Ricochet has had a bunch of rotten experiences with schools. Each new school or new school year I’d hope that it would be the year that everything finally goes well for Ricochet. The year that he’s accommodated as he needs. The year that no one picks on him. The year he has real friends. The year his teacher truly understands him. The year school staff recognizes that a child can have a gifted intelligence and struggle academically. And, every single year, it was not. Until this year…

It’s tough to share my parenting struggles so publicly sometimes, but I do to help others experiencing the same struggles. I know that my writing helps a few parents, and I’m proud of that. I never expected that sharing our story would come full circle to help Ricochet specifically though, but it looks like it has.

[Tweet “Give hope a chance to float up, even when parenting #ADHD and #autism.”]

In talking with an administrator at Ricochet’s middle school yesterday about another student picking on him on the bus and how she had handled the situation, she shared with me that she’s been following me for years. “You’ve been my saving grace,” she added. “I see so many similarities between [Ricochet] and my own son.” She went on to say that she feels a special connection to him and wants to be sure he has a good experience at school this year. I was awash with goosebumps and tears came quickly. Just to know someone was looking out for my kiddo at school, because she understands him so well, was a gift I didn’t think we’d ever have the opportunity to receive. But to know that I had some part in that understanding, even indirectly, was such a proud moment for me.

I’m filled with gratitude for this chance for hope to float up to the surface again.