Here's Why High Hopes Is Our Tribe

Charlie’s first day of school just so happened to be the day I gave birth to his brother and sister. This was not planned. Nothing about any of my pregnancies or deliveries or mom-life really was.

But ever since he turned two, High Hopes was part of the plan. It was the first place I felt at ease, the first place that let me unclench my hands and breathe a bit when it came to Charlie.

His wasn’t an easy beginning…a trach, a g-tube, and later a wheelchair. He’s a love, always quick with the hugs and kisses, but his needs are many and complex. I knew it would take a very special place to help him thrive. I didn’t want him lost in the shuffle.

It’s been almost four years since his first day at High Hopes and the birth of his twin siblings. And recently, I got to thinking about this circle of ours. It’s important as a parent of a child with special needs (or any human really) to build your tribe. You need your people. The ones you can rely on to help without question, to offer an ear without judgment, and who “get” your family and how it works. If you try to sail the ship alone, you’ll drown.

For us, that’s our family—my mother who lives .4 miles away (not that I’m counting) and my dad who, despite wearing scrubs to my house because of the snot and general stickiness, always takes the time to stretch Charlie and ask him about his day.

And outside of family, it’s High Hopes. It has been our wonderland, the place we fell into and continually recognize as magic. Charlie would not be as social and well-adjusted and intellectual