We can’t always get what we want, but sometimes we get what we need
Fair doesn’t mean that everyone is treated the same, but that everyone gets what he deserves and needs.
I don’t remember where I came across this sentiment, but I remember the day I did. It was the first day this year that C wore his hat to school after opening the wound on his head for the zillionth time in the two years since it first appeared. As he walked nervously onto the playground that morning, he was the brunt of a rude comment from his frienemy.
“Why does C get to wear a hat when I don’t? I never get to wear a hat to school! IT’S NOT FAIR!” he exclaimed in his own version of a tantrum for which I had no patience. C started to cry, and I wanted to unload all of my frustration upon this child who torments C nearly as often as he is nice to him. Is it fair that C has this compulsive skin picking disorder that leaves him scabbed and scarred? Is it fair that C has to be friends with a child I would, under different circumstances, ban from our home simply because he is such a terrible friend? Is it fair that I had to leave a crying child at school simply because if I took him home in that moment, he might never return?
Somehow that day, I found the statement I quoted above. It has meanings on so many levels for our special children: not the least of which applies directly to the special education services they so desperately need. Now we have hat privileges written directly into C’s IEP so that we don’t have to jump through any hoops next time around.
Even the title of my blog, What We Need, has meaning on so many different levels. I’m still not sure, two and half years after starting this blog that I have solved the question of just what it is we need. And I’m not sure C received what he needed on that particular day when his so-called friend made him cry before they even walked into the building. Yet somehow I did when I stumbled across the real meaning of fairness on that day when I needed it most.
Here’s hoping that C, and all others like him, gets exactly what he deserves and needs.