Dear Luca,

This morning you asked me if you had problems in your head. You were pointing at your forehead when you asked, and suggested something happened to you when you were a baby. I said that you didn’t. Apparently your best friend told you that you did, I guess that’s his interpretation of things. I don’t want you to ever refer to your uniqueness as a ‘problem’, defined as “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.” Those words do not define you.

We had a little chat and I explained that there are millions and millions of genes in the body, and that you’re missing just a few of them. We spoke about how you find learning difficult and you agreed school can be ‘tricky’. We talked about your new school, how you will really enjoy learning and that all the other kids are there for the same reason. You jumped for joy shouting out “there will be football tournaments!” That was it, conversation over.

I want you to know that life, in itself, is a miracle. Just because you’re missing some genes, doesn’t make you any less whole, or human, than someone who isn’t. Just because you find numeracy and handwriting difficult, doesn’t mean that you are stupid. Don’t let those little things detract from your knowledge and love of music, bands and football.

You are loved everywhere you go. When you meet someone for the first time you will ask which football team they support. It could be Liverpool or Wigan, it doesn’t matter… yet you know the players, who they last played against, who won and what the score was. If that person doesn’t like football you ask them about music. Everyone loves music, right? You will find common ground and the conversation flows. Your knowledge is astounding and you are self-taught.

I’ll end this letter by telling you something extraordinary. A little boy has recently moved onto our street, he’s three years old and his name is Nate. Nate was adopted in Africa when he was one, he was in an orphanage and his parents know very little about where he comes from and who his biological parents are. Nate is very quiet; in fact, he doesn’t speak much at all. That is, until he met you. His mother told me that they have never heard Nate speak as much as he does, than when he is around you. Now, I wouldn’t say that’s a ‘problem’, would you?

I love you and am very proud of you,

Mum

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