This afternoon I texted a friend to come over and pick up a bunch of my son's nice hand-me-down clothes for her son. This is a woman we used to carpool to school with. She's my sister's best friend and knows that we've had many difficult years, and that this year has been especially difficult.
I don't know how much my sister has told her, but it's pretty well known that my son had to leave school (where her daughters attend) and is in a treatment facility (for bipolar, anxiety and substance abuse).
Anyway, she blew in and immediately began talking non-stop about where her daughter had been accepted to college, where all the people in their class were going to college, how well her next two children were doing, how her daughter should marry so and so, and how so and so's kid didn't get into Stanford even though he made a 35 on his ACT and had straight A's. Blah Blah Blah. She seemed nervous and uncomfortable.
There we were, standing over a table of my son's clothes, and she never once asked me about him. It was if he's dead or worse, never existed. This woman knows me too well to have not said something. And then to go on and on about all the other kids — it was really bizarre.
I just keep telling myself that my son has dealt with more challenges than all these kids put together. So I'm gonna brag about my son, Thomas (he has a name). He's doing great on Zoloft. He's passed four of his five classes this semester. He hugged me over and over again during Christmas. He's more aware of his anxiety and is expressing his awareness of it more than ever before. He's talking to us about his substance use. He's participating in his medical treatment. He's as smart as any of those other kids. He's beautiful and loved and mine.