The book tells the story of a family who had four healthy children, but wanted to adopt. By the time the book was published, they had adopted thirteen children, had one more of their own, and another had come to be a part of the family through a second marriage, for a grand total of 19 kids. The big thing about the adopted children was that they were all special needs of some sort.
In that home was a main staircase that had, conveniently, 19 steps. Each of the children, paralyzed, blind, missing limbs, or fully functional, faced those stairs each day. I always pictured them standing on their very own step as a new child climbed to their own place.
I must have read that story a hundred times. Every time I read it, it made me sad that it was written before I was ever born. That I hadn't gotten a chance to learn all the languages the children spoke. That I couldn't watch and learn as the girl with no hands crocheted with her hooks. That I couldn't learn Braille along with the blind boy. That I didn't have those needs. I felt left out, not being able to be a part of something so amazing.
Why couldn't there be a 20th step, just for me? I had my own issues. I was blind... okay no, I just wore glasses. I had trouble with mobility... okay no, I was just a normal clumsy kid. I was special needs, wasn't I? I just didn't understand.
The thing is, I wasn't 'special needs'. Not any more than any other person. And yet, something in me never felt like I belonged. I was too slow to run with the fast kids. Too loud to sit with the quiet smart kids. Too awkward to socialize with the popular kids. Too... different.
I still feel that way a lot of the time. I'm on the outside looking in. I live thousands of miles from any blood relative. I spend most of my time at home alone in my room. I sit in my own little bubble at work, too newly promoted to be accepted fully amongst the other mid-level employees, and too, well, promoted to be able to hang out with my coworkers while we're at the office.
I know there's a niche for me. Somewhere, there's a Kechara-sized stair for me to stand on, proud and happy to be just me. And in the mean time, I guess I'll keep climbing the other stairs up the mountain. They may not be my stair, but most of them are pretty darn cool to hang out on.
This has been my post for week two of LJ Idol