If you have not read the book “Wonder,” you must. It is a great fictional account about a boy named Auggie, who has facial deformities. The story tells of his life entering school after being homeschooled for years, as well as how the characters that interact with him. On Friday, November 17, 2017, the movie premiered in theaters and needless to say, it was a tearjerker for me.
There were a number of moments in the movie that caused me to cry. From the scene where Auggie walks into school on his first day, to stares and whispers of others, to kids saying he had the plague, and to the meanness of Julian, the antagonist. Yet, out of all the scenes there was one that made tears stream down my face the most. It was the part where Auggie’s mother, played by Julia Roberts, is overcome with emotions as she sees her son befriending a student in his class. As I watched the scene, I couldn’t help but to think about how as parents we long for our children to have relationships with other children. We want them to have playmates and friends that will bring them happiness as they grow up.
I can relate to this because I have always wanted the same for my son. Yet, I also know the difficulty that some children with special needs have in this area. There will be some children that will have success in gaining friendships and some will not. This is the case with Nate. My son’s mental development does not allow him to have what we would consider “normal” friendship and relationships. He is nonverbal and mentally delayed. He can’t articulate himself in a way to share his thoughts, and feelings like people do in a relationship. However, I that doesn’t stop me from wanting Nate to have friendships. That desire still fills me.
Over the years, I have accepted that this is Nate’s life and he will not have friendship or relationships that are “normal.” Yet, it doesn’t stop me from desiring that every child will experience the, “Wonder” of having a friendship in their life, no matter if they have special needs or not.