As summer comes to a rapid close, it is “back to school time.” It is a “happy time” for most mom’s who spend these last few weeks getting their little one’s get ready to “go” for the first time; running to the shoe stores to get that special pair of fancy shoes and “needed” new white sneakers. This is usually followed by visiting the office supply stores to load up on crayons, folders, pencils, and scissors. And let’s not forget stopping to get a new lunch box and character backpack.

Somewhere in the beginning of the year each year children write essays about their summers and about their families. I can remember reading some funny essay’s Rebeka wrote and I can remember even writing these essay’s as a child. Along the line somewhere there was one or two that Rebeka wrote about me or Geoffrey being her hero, and I always thought that was so sweet.

The middle school and high school crowd usually heads to the mall without mom to pick up a few new fancy duds and then somehow remembers that they “might” need school supplies so they then go with mom and stock up on notebooks and pencils.

In middle school so much changes with children, their schools and their friends and their opinions on everything, because being pre-teens they know “everything about everything in the world.” And I remember reading Rebeka’s English papers and she was beginning to understand the degree of Ainsley’s disabilities and she would often write about that.

And then there’s me with one child who left two weeks ago for her senior year of college (ok so she’s not a “child” in age but she will always be my “child” in thought), and my other special child who is getting ready to go back to her 10th year of school, not necessarily 10th grade since she is in special education which continues until she is 21-years old. Following with what most moms are “doing” we loaded up the minivan and headed to the mall. We had a “mommy and Ainsley” afternoon of shopping, we went to the GAP, American Eagle, Old Navy, and of course PINK. (Shopping with a high school girl is NOT complete without a visit to PINK.) She still needs her new school shoes which we will have to get this week and that last minute haircut so she can “see” without her hair in her face.

And as we were driving home from the mall I looked up in the rear view mirror and looked at Ainsley strapped into the van in her wheelchair and it was then that that I was hit with a bittersweet smile and I started thinking about what she would be buying if she was not disabled; she would be buying an outfit for her senior picture and getting ready to return to her exciting senior year preparing to head out of the nest and off to college. I wonder what she would be writing about in her high school English essays…

But again, I stop and think that is not our life, but I stop and realize how wonderful and inspirational she really is and how much I love her just the way she is, and how blessed I am to have her in my life and I then realize once again that I’m not her hero she is ours!

There’s a hero,
If you look inside your heart,
You don’t have to be afraid of what you are,
There’s an answer,
If you reach into your soul,
And the sorrow that you know will melt away.

And then a hero comes along,
With the strength to carry on,
And you cast your fears aside and you know you can survive,
So when you feel like hope is gone,
Look inside you and be strong,
And you’ll finally see the truth that a hero lies in you.

It’s a long road,
When you face the world alone,
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold,
You can find love,
If you search within yourself,
And the emptiness you felt will disappear.

Lord knows,
Dreams are hard to follow,
But don’t let anyone tear them away,
Hold on,
There will be tomorrow,
In time you’ll find the way.

That a hero lies in…..you
Ooohh that a hero lies in…..you

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