Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

How Do You Keep Your Towel Fresh

“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth…you can sleep under it beneath the stars…wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat…wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes…you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”
-Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (source)

Throughout this journey in special needs parenting I have many times felt like a Hitchhiker in a strange land: foreign vocabulary, seemingly scary science “experiments,” school administrators with two faces who aren’t aware of what the right or left hand in their district is doing. And throughout it all, my “towel” has been my gritty determination to make sure my children receive what is legally and lawfully their rights to a free and appropriate education.

I’ve held on to my “towel” with the white knuckled grip of a frustrated, angry middle-aged warrior woman. I’ve used it to dry my frustrated and impotent tears. I’ve snuggled it at night while furiously researching FAPE and LRE and IDEA. I’ve thought about using it to strangle some people…It’s kept me going for seven – almost eight – years now. Constantly fighting, occasionally begging, often internally raging at the broken system that our educational, medical, and mental health care have become.

I need a new “towel,” or at the very least, this one needs to be run through the sanitary cycle on the washer a few times. With bleach. So, so much bleach.

you-have-a-choiceHow do you keep your “towel” fresh, disappointment after disappointment? After one more failure of the school, or one more referral kick back, or one more three hour wait at the pharmacy only to find out that they are out of the much needed med that keeps your child glued together?

How do you keep from throwing in your “towel,” and just embracing the suck? Because, to me, that then becomes MY failure. And I cannot, will not fail my children.


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