My friends,

As I posted on Diary’s Facebook page yesterday morning,

I just got a WONDERFUL phone call from Disney. Apologetic, gracious, compassionate and determined to ensure that it won’t happen again. I was moved to tears.

I can’t wait to tell you about the conversation. And I will, I swear. And when I do I will include the information that I’ve been promising on the Guest Assistance Card and some of the things that made our visit to the parks work. I’ll even throw in some random tips on where to find MIckey and Minnie and the princesses just for fun :).

But in the meantime, I’m going to ask for your indulgence this morning as I go a little – or a lot- off topic.

See I have this friend. And she’s kinda awesome. Like really, really awesome. But you know how sometimes the most awesome people in your life don’t always know how awesome they are? And how sometimes you feel like it’s up to you to remind them?

Well, my friend needs to hear it.

You know those people that you find – sometimes once in a lifetime – who simply glow from within? Who you could dunk in mud and wrap in tin foil and hide in a dark closet and somehow their light would still shine through? Well, that’s my friend.

She’s smart and she’s funny and she’s incredibly beautiful – even if she doesn’t always recognize her beauty. She is compassionate and creative and by God, in her worst moments she is the mother I pray to be in my best.

She’s fiercely loyal, one of the most generous souls I know and one of the best friends I’ve ever had. She is also, without a doubt, one of the most talented humans roaming the planet. There’s nothing she couldn’t do.

But what she does – what she does every single day – is change lives. And this is the part that I’m not sure she gets.

I mean, I know sometimes she gets it, but I’m not sure that she lets the enormity of it really, truly sink in. You see, my friend is a high school drama teacher. But she’s not just *a* teacher, she’s *that* teacher. You know the one, don’t you?

The one who searches the crowd and instinctively homes in on the broken wing. The one who finds the kid in the chorus who has no idea he’s got the lead in him. The one who welcomes with open arms the awkward freshman who’s gotten kicked around by the ‘cool kids’, the shy boy who hides in the background because no one’s ever told him he’s just as good – better – than they are. The one who is a safe place to land for the girl who just can’t quite fall into step with her peers, who feels like she’ll never belong. And she’s the one who spots the kid who knows – who deep down knows – that he can do it, if only someone – anyone – would give him the chance. And she is the one who does. Every time.

My friend is *that* teacher. She is the one who finds – or creates – a space and a role for everyone. The one who nurtures and prods, coddles and coaxes and lovingly pushes her kids – our kids – accepting nothing less than all she knows they are capable of. She is the one who sees into kids – who understands that they are so much more than the boxes they come in.

She is the one who changes lives simply by showing up at work every day and being who she is. Who by letting her own fire blaze enables and encourages everyone around her to ignite their own.

And well, that all adds up a whole lot of awesome.

So now you know why I had to share, right?

I love you, Drama.

You matter. To me, and to so many others.

Love you big,


P.S. To ALL of the teachers and therapists and various and sundry others who show up to support our kids every day, thank you. To those who, like my friend, believe in the limitless potential of every student they touch and who thrive on bringing it out – well, you are our heroes.

P.P.S. Thank you for your patience with me, friends. Disney story on Monday. Pinky swear.


31 thoughts on “drama

  1. Love Drama, too! Her blog was invaluable to me at a very difficult time in my life and when I reached out to her with questions, she reached right back out to me in an instant with information, reassurance and an open ear and heart. Great shout out to another great advocate for kids. Love you both!!!

  2. Yes to Drama. Who personifies true wit, intelligence, warmth and compassion. Who is a Hell of a mother and friend. Who gives us all hope in the possibilities of our kids.

    Drama. You are 1 in a zillion!!!

    Love you!


  3. We LOVE you, Drama.

    Jess has nailed it. We ALL see you. We see your light bursting through from thousands of miles away. We see your stunning beauty. We see all of that.

    Jess, you are the friend we all hope to be.

  4. “She’s smart and she’s funny and she’s incredibly beautiful – even if she doesn’t always recognize her beauty. She is compassionate and creative and by God, in her worst moments she is the mother I pray to be in my best.”

    Hi, Pot? Meet Kettle.

    I loves ya both!

  5. Drama, you are so very loved. You are an amazing teacher, mother, friend, woman, human. Smart, funny, and beautiful to boot! Believe it, because we do, we all do. And autism mamas are rarely, if ever, wrong. xoxo

  6. Good morning, Drama! I haven’t told you how much I appreciate that for some of us you blaze the trail. And I’d be in a different place without you to give us the hope that you do. You raise those girls with such ferocity and such grace. And you look good while doing it, honey. XO

  7. Don’t know Drama but she sounds awesome. But then, awesome finds awesome, doesn’t it? You are BOTH lucky and blessed to have each other.

  8. Huge fan here. Drama’s blog was one of the first I stumbled upon by another mom of a child on the spectrum. Her heart and humor and amazing parenting pulled me in immediately.

    And as my son begins high school (gulp) and I see how important finding his niche is going to be (his is music), I can only pray that he is lucky enough to find a teacher like her.

    Brava to you and your girls, Drama.

    And Jess, I am so glad you got a good response from Disney. Brava to you too.

  9. Yes- to ALL of it -YES!!!! Drama- you see the beauty in everything and everyone around you. You are one fierce mama and one of the most compassionate, smart, funny as hell humans I know. You are a gift you me, your friends, your beautiful girls, and every one of those kids you teach. I wish you saw in you what we all see. Jess is right about your shining light. You do exactly that. You ARE beautiful inside and out. Really. You are stunning. I loved you the instant I met you and now that I know you so much better, I know my life has been graced by one incredible lady. You bring me so much happiness. I hope to one day return the favor. Love you immensely!

  10. i had one of those people in my life, one of those amazing, rare people. and i know from personal experience that they can save lives. gifts, these people, always.

    and good for disney! curious to hear more.

  11. Warm, beautiful, wicked funny, elegant…. There for the nerdy girls like me and mine… I love Drama and love you for writing this.

  12. I love Drama. Particularly when she encourages me to do nice things for myself, and tells me that JS would do it. She knows what I’m talking about. xoxox

  13. There’s a reason you two are friends – the two most compassionate, most understanding, most incredible advocates for our kids that I have ever known. There’s something about Drama – she has the ability to see what I can’t when I’m stuck in the muck, and knowing her has been a blessing. At one of my lowest points, she saw something in my son that I had never seen before. And she told me these words: “He will be just fine.” Simple to others, life changing to me.
    Not only would her light shine through in that closet, but her laughter and spirit would lead me right to her.
    Thank you for sharing her beauty with everyone here, and the reminder that every child needs a guide like Drama, just like everyone needs a friend like her too.

  14. My high school drama teacher was just like this. She passed away shortly after I graduated from college and I just about everyday, I find myself thinking of what a difference she made in my life. Drama needs to know that her pure awesomeness will always be remembered by her students and that nothing can take away the difference she made in their life. Hugs to all!

  15. Ok Jess I need to know Drama’s blog address because they way you describe her sorta, kinda reminds me of you and I need more people like you in my life.

  16. Drama is one of the good ones—the really, really good ones. This post is so right on. If there were more people and teachers like her, our kids might not feel so alone and ostracized. LOVE you, Drama!

  17. I’m working towards being a high school english teacher and I hope I’m at least half the teacher she is. Thank you for reminding me why I want to become one.

  18. yes. it’s all been said and it’s all true. all i can add is, drama, i love your style! and i’m so glad i get to call you friend. you have my love, respect and admiration. ‘the world is better for having YOU,’ my dear.

  19. I hope she hears you. They never seem to realize. Must be part of the whole ‘awesome’ package. So many teachers are great at their jobs. But some are not teachers because they needed a career path and love kids. They’re teachers at the very essence of their being. They’re gifted.

    Mine was named Mrs. Shamburger. She taught me that adults can be kind and loving. She made me understand that I matter. She didn’t just tell me. She MADE me believe it, by her persistence and unwavering confidence in me. I think of her often. Very often. And credit her as being one of the most influential people in my life. She’s the reason I don’t judge others and the reason I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I’m a much better person for having sat in her classroom.

    I hope your friend hears you. It seems like such a crime to think that the people who are truly changing our world don’t realize how essential they are.

  20. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

    Mine was Mr. Schweitzer, my junior high PE teacher and track coach. To this day, the man sparkles brighter than anyone I’ve ever met. He has the ability to make the most awkward kids into the most confident, and I will forever live in awe of him.

    The Princess’s are too many to count. Almost every therapist, aide or teacher who has come into her life has been a godsend so far. We truly are lucky.

    Thanks for sharing this, Jess. Sometimes everyone needs a reminder to recognize the awesome in their lives. 🙂

  21. Dear Drama, I hope you are reading these comments. Your blog was one of the first ones I read that gave me some hope. When I got discouraged about the setbacks, I would read your stories of how well Miss. M was doing and I’d feel that one day we’d get there too. My daughter is now 8 and went to her first theatre camp this summer. The teacher was wonderful and it could not have been a more positive experience. I’m not sure if you’ll go back to posting, I still check regularly to see if you have. Please know that your wisdom and voice are missed. Best wishes to you and your family.

  22. Pingback: Inappropriate hugging « Autism In a Word

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