Everybody loves Nathan, but noone wants him around. Every year we have a large birthday party for him. We put it on. The kids get standard kid fare. I spend 8+ hours in the kitchen providing gourmet food for the adults. Family and a small core of loyal friends come. We always have a great time, and Nathan makes out like a bandit. It makes him very happy. Only Amanda and I know the true length of the guest list. Only we know the names of the families we invited who didn't come. Most never do. A few have made appearances. None are "regulars". Nathan receives no such invitations. He receives no texts, little Facebook traffic, almost nothing.
It's hard for me. I struggle with bitterness. It feels like people are "feeding on him". Somehow knowing Nathan and declaring their love for their "special friend" improves their self-image. I can understand that. It's human nature. Still, it eats at me at times. He deserves better.
I handle it better with his peers than adults. They're kids. Their acceptance of and value for him is expected to be immature and self-centered. I issue no such indulgences for the adults, particularly those in his own family. Blood may be thicker than water, but it's apparently thinner than discrimination and egocentrism.
Haven't conquered this one yet.