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During my sophomore year Shakespeare class, I spilled coffee all over everyone. And I don’t even drink coffee.

But there it was- scalding liquid on my crotch in the middle of a lecture on Coriolanus. I am confident that this is the only memory my classmates would recall about me from this lecture of two hundred people.

However, my personal memory is far more simple. It was the day I shared aloud with my class, my interpretation of Edgar’s lines “Speak what we feel / Not what we ought to say” in King Lear’s closing act. My voice filled the auditorium with some sort of rambling and my professor simply stated: “Ask this girl if you have any questions about Shakespeare.” And I sat down.

But I spent the rest of college being a hypocrite. I never said what I felt. I always searched for the “ought to”. I was afraid of making anyone more upset than they needed to be. Maybe it came from too many funerals at a young age, but I had this fear that I would say something I truly felt and would never see that person again. So, I ended every conversation with a perfect little bow. Mostly, it meant that only a few, chosen ones, ever really knew what I actually wanted to say.

Until the diagnosis.

The deletion is larger than we thought it would be. The impact of it will be extensive. We don’t know if she will walk or talk. We will check in every six months of her life. Good luck to you.

What I feel…

I am sad. I am devastated. I am afraid. I don’t know how to raise this child. I don’t know if I am strong enough to be who she needs me to be. Is our marriage strong enough to survive raising her? Where will she go to school? Will she have any friends? Will she ever get married? How do I teach her how to be potty trained? Can she play sports? Can you clap at a Bat Mitzvah and have it count? Will my friends know what to say? Am I strong enough to carry her? Do we need to redo the house to make it wheel chair accessible? Should I learn sign language? Will she be a behavior problem? Should we move? How can we afford all of her medical bills and therapies? Does she understand me when I talk to her? Will someone ever kiss her? Why did this happen to us? Can I adopt every child in the foster care system with special needs? Can I still work? I am jealous. I am tired. Will she be happy? I am mourning the life of child I imagined she would be.

What we said…

November 26, 2012

Dear Family,
We finally got a diagnosis.  

Of course this information is hard for us to process. in short, we were told we are raising a child with special needs, specifically in the cognitive sphere, however, we were also assured that with follow through, early intervention, and the right information many children with this condition go on to live really healthy and productive lives.

We are continually amazed at how much she is growing every day and while many of you cannot see her on a daily basis, please know that she continues to be a happy, and loved little girl.

For now, we don’t need anything.  (Although we love cookies).  As always, we feel your support and love.  We can’t wait to see you so soon!  We love you all.

Hey Shakespeare. I tried.