The Hard Days

Most days I run so fast through the day that I don’t have a lot of time to think. That’s not true – I’m thinking all day long. But it’s busy thinking, not thoughtful thinking. It’s making a to-do list in my head, crossing things off, getting things done, running from one meeting to the next. I don’t often have time to dwell, and frankly I’ve never really been one to do much of it anyway. I’m more of an onwards and upwards type.

This week I’ve hit a wall. Hard. I think it’s because I’ve been in contact with more parents with kids similar to Stellan and I finally hit reality. Or let reality hit me. I’ve been so focused on being positive and optimistic, that I may have allowed myself to be a bit delusional about Stellan’s future. Walking and talking haven’t been “maybes” they’ve been things he’ll get to eventually.

And this week, for whatever reason or convergence of reasons, I have found myself feeling very, very discouraged and sad. It’s worse still when I bottle it up or push it aside all day in order to maintain professional decorum – get through the day, get things done, don’t let the facade crack, keep a positive attitude.

The last two days walking to the subway from the office to get home I’ve been suddenly, overwhelming consumed with grief. The kind that you have to physically brace yourself against because otherwise you crumple over. I find that the best way for me to deal with it is to just let it out. Have one of those intense, body shattering crying jags, and then get on with it. So I’ve done that.

I know people have looked at my funny as I’ve walked down the street sobbing, or because of my red watery eyes on the train, and I don’t care. I know it’s better to get it out, not hold it in or push it aside. Feel it, deal with it, and then I can open myself to whatever comes next. Whenever the next wave rolls in. I know it will come again, and I hope that each time it does, with practice and time, I’ll get a better handle on it (hey, at least I can keep it at bay now until I’m out of the office and don’t have to run to the bathroom!) and maybe, one day, having a special needs child (I’m practicing saying it a lot so it becomes not a big deal) will become just part my regular old life and not a cause of such intense emotion.

Unless it’s happy emotions. Then I want a lot of those.



Nothing wrong with crying in the subway. My favorite spot? The shower. Hang in there, Noelle.


Hi Noelle,
I have been following you and your adventures for a few years now. I stumbled across your other blog and instantly found your voice and experiences charming and fun to read about.

My heart goes out to you and your family, and, as a special education teacher, I know how lucky your little guy is to have what seems like an incredibly strong and caring mom and dad.

Thank you for sharing your story,



Your story is truly inspiring! You have a true angel, and a beautiful handsome one with allot of life in him. May God bless him <3 as hard as it is thank you for sharing your little guy's journey


Hey there Noelle, it’s good to let it all out. Glad you’re able to do that, and somehow, at least for me, those cries while walking in the city can be very cathartic. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I do feel much better when I cry all the way in public (amongst people I don’t know) than in any other situation. Well, maybe not while it’s happening, but definitely afterwards.
Thinking of you.


Noelle, you three have a whole village of family and friends surrounding you. That’s a lot of love. But I know no matter how hard I try to imagine being you or Quentin, I will never know what it is like. So you have all my love and support and the acknowledgement that the struggles, the challenges, the joys are unique to each of you. And yes, crying it out is much better than trying to hold it in. And then gather yourself, get back to the task at hand, and look for that next moment of joy, grace, or gratitude to appear. xoxo

Sienna Farris

I just saw this post. Thank you for being so honest and raw. I am thinking of you guys often.


Oh Noelle, I am so sorry! No one should have to feel this way. Just know that I think of you and Quentin and Superboy (that’s what I call him in my head) a lot. Feel free to call me anytime you get down…. I am also still contemplating a visit. One day I will make it back to NYC… How hard can it be, after all!!


Thinking about it sorry is probably not the right word for it – there’s a German word… We say I feel with you…. That’s more it…


18 mois, Stellan! On pense à toi à Paris, dommage que je n’ai pas su que tu étais à Paris pour une réunion de beaux p’tit gars avec toi et mon pèpère!
Noelle, je t’aurais vue sur le quai de métro, je t’aurais prise dans mes bras.
Bisous, très impuissants, c’est sûr, mais forts, pour donner un chouïa de force en plus
Corinne & Henry

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