He moves quickly on the field, pausing briefly to readjust his shorts. I am wondering if only I know it is a tic – it's probably only noticeable to me I think. The ball moves to his end of the field, he kicks it hard and several parents cheer. I'm not cheering because I got wrapped up in hearing the other parents. It feels good to be the parent of a boy playing soccer. Here I am not a "special needs mom" or "that one" (for those who have vilified me and my son). Here I am a soccer mom. He belongs. I belong.
And after the last game he comes to me, tears spilling down his face. I mistakenly assume it is because they lost. "No mom, I'm sad because it's over. I have friends at soccer, I am part of a team. Tomorrow I'm just me again and it's all gone".