As I held my son, fear wrapped tightly around me. His body shook as his little hands tugged at my shirt. It was a different cry this time. One that could not be fixed by a smile, hug or kiss. Gabe is aware that people hurt his feelings often. That something he is doing is making them turn away or laugh boldly in his face. Gabe is reaching out with so much determination, so much love to others he sees as friends. He's putting his vulnerable hand out there waiting, reaching, trying to make some connection. He's waiting for what all the others have. What comes so easily between kids his age, a friend.
I would like to say that he made some friends this year at school, but honestly, irregardless of the tainted gene pool there, gabe rarely mentioned anyone with excitement attached. Was it a great class full of children you would look back on and say, "I knew so and so since preschool.", probably not. But, it was the slide show at his preschool graduation that showed not all were given a chance to be a friend. In every picture with Gabe, he was alone or with his teacher. He was alone. My baby was alone. The other boys huddled in a group together with big smiles. Or were shown sharing a toy. Gabe existed on the fringes. He so desperatly wanted to be included. Halfway through the year, I think he just gave up. He still offered friendship, no strings attached, but most of the time his warm gesture went unnoticed.
I hope in my deepest heart that people will see all the great attributes that he has before they turn away. That those that are quick to judge, take a second look. There is more, so much more to Gabe if you just give him a chance. He is kind, caring, funny, imaginative and loves the friends he does have so dearly. This part seems to be the hardest for both of us now.