Dear Tessa: Sensory Adversity

Dear Tessa,

Since the beginning of this page I have been open, honest and candid about your life and all that you have endured and overcome. I promised that I would be. Sometimes it is not easy, but I share anyway because this is your reality and our’s too.

As open and honest as I am about it all, there are things I leave out…because I can. I do keep in mind that it was my idea to create this space and that you did not have a say in that, so I honor and respect some of the difficult parts of your life and leave those details out. After all, what happens on the internet is permanent and it would not be fair, nor respectful of you, for me to share less favorable things you go through personally that you will inherit from this page down the road. Plus, we just need to keep some things private as well…as your parent, I have that right.

For instance, I talk vaguely talk about your sensory issues here; and I choose not to go into great detail about them. We constantly support your needs and are still learning to navigate these hurdles as they come. It is difficult because many people do not understand this or have not witnessed it first hand, but we do regularly. And I will tell you that there have been dark moments and low points throughout this process…moments that have tore my heart to pieces…moments that are private and humbling. There have also been powerful moments that painted big, beautiful pictures of success. Therefore when you overcome great adversity with your sensory related issues, it makes the reward that much sweeter.

Leading up to those moments, however, is hard for us because sometimes we knowingly prepare for things to not work out–we have to and we have accepted that. Your specialty therapist told us that it is a part of the process. But please…don’t ever mistake any of that for a lack of confidence in you. Of all people, your parents–who have walked every winding road right alongside of you–would be the last people to not believe in your abilities or successes.  I don’t expect anyone to understand what any of that is like for you and us unless of course, they have been in your/our shoes. And you know what? That is totally fine.



I just want to show you this from your school winter program a few weeks ago in December.  We were gearing up for your concert at home hours before the program started, and your teachers had been practicing with you in the weeks leading up to it.  We all knew that there was potential for the chaos of the program to be too overwhelming for you, but I held onto to hope that you could do it.

At first, you sat on your teacher’s lap comfortably.  I kept thinking to myself, “This is okay.  As long as she is comfy and she doesn’t have a breakdown, I am okay with this.”  And I would have been, but in the back of my head I was like, “Come on Tessa.  Come on Tessa…You can do it.   Stand up babe.”  I wanted it so badly for you…and for me too.

Then you did it.  Your teacher stood you up off of her lap and you jumped right in the middle of a song, singing and dancing along with your peers and the music.

And girl…did you ever rock that winter program!

This is what we hold onto.  These perfect moments and how it feels to be a part of them, knowing what it took for you to get there.


So while we welcome all possible outcomes to any scenario, we always encourage you, support you and believe in you.

You have been working really hard lately, and we are super proud of you.  Keep up the good work girlfriend!

Love, Mom.

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