You wish your son could glide through life. If only he could hit all the markers. If only you could protect him from the bullies, the looks, the questions: Why does he talk that way? Isn’t he kind of old to be drooling? You want to spare him the angst, the hot shame of being picked last for the kickball team. You want him to be well-liked by his teachers, his peers, himself.
You want him to share his cookies and Matchbox cars, to resist the temptation to yank the cat’s tail. You want him to stand up for himself. At the same time, you see your child as yourself, but better—spared the heartaches you suffered, endowed with the attributes you lacked. You hold in your head two opposing wishes: that he be normal, yet also special. Maybe even extraordinary.