Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Team Player

I spend a great deal of time trying to balance my desire to save and protect my son and trying to let him forge his way in life. It's not an easy task for any parent with any child but with a child with special needs, it can become all consuming. We had a meeting the other day at the school (which I will try to post more about later) and for the most part it was good. I advocated for my son, at times very strongly, and it felt good. What didn't feel so good was the realization that there were a couple of people sitting at that table that really weren't part of our "team". They don't, at least right now, "get" my wonderfully spirited boy and I worry that their demeanour and approach to him will do more damage.

With the one individual, she has little contact with C but could negatively impact his school experience because she is a "professional" from the board office whose philosophy on how to "deal" with my son's behaviour just doesn't match my own or most of the rest of the team either. She's the "expert" though so I am wary and will be on my toes when it comes to her involvement. The other person has recently begun to have direct contact with C every afternoon, which is the time he struggles the most. I believe that she believes wholeheartedly that she knows what she is doing and that what she is doing will prevail in the end. I know my son, I know all the people that have come before her. She will not prevail but in the meantime I worry that my beautiful C will deteriorate and suffer more because of this.

I need to be clear here. My C is struggling in huge ways right now. I know it cannot be easy for the school - it's not easy for anyone, especially C. I do not for a minute believe that these "non team players" are in any way causing the issues we are dealing with. I do believe that they are not helping the situation and in fact, may be making this whole thing a whole lot bigger than it needs to be. The good news in all this is that I have found some peace and comfort in knowing that I have a good overall view of what is going on and I will pull him from school or fight higher up if I need to. I will NOT let anyone punish him for things that are beyond his control right now. My last week of work is next week, if need be I will keep him home. I will not allow him, me or my family to be held hostage. That resolve feels good. I hope it won't come to that.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Houston we have lift off!!!!

I received a call 20 minutes ago from the school - I almost didn't pick up, I thought for sure it would be some sort of "problem" and with it being Good Friday tomorrow I really didn't want to deal with it. But, I picked up. That will teach me to be such a pessimist. It was his teacher Ms. M wanting to tell me what a wonderful week C had. She talked about purposefully giving him "missions" to do such as going to the library to pick something up for her and how successful he was and how proud she was of him and he was of himself. Which is exactly what I have been thinking lately but I thought for sure they would fight me when I brought it up again at the school conference we have scheduled for March 27th.

I am ecstatic! When I told him I had just talked to his teacher his face began to fall but I quickly told him how proud his teacher was and he just beamed!

What a way to start the Easter Holiday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coming of Age . . . 40 that is

In our family we go on a roadtrip every March Break (I think our American friends refer to it as Spring Break?). The bad weather led us to rearrange our trip but we were thankful we didn't have to cancel. First we headed to Greenville, Ohio to my beloved Kitchenaid store where we discovered they had held over some wonderful sales until the end of March because of the bad weather. Then off to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis (FABULOUS!) and other site seeing and shopping. Today we headed to Louisville Kentucky. We are on night 4 of a 5 night trip. All is going amazingly well.

Until this morning . . . when I discovered a grey hair sticking up maddeningly out of the top of my head, just like Alfalfa. It's not my first grey hair and it won't be my last but it honestly was like it was taunting me for pete's sake!!!! Then I was playing my husband's Nintendo Ds Brain age game and it tells me I am like someone in my 40's - I'm 34! And then we go to Walmart where I delight that I can buy beer along with my other sundries (in Ontario, Canada where I live you have to go to the "Beer Store" or an LCBO). Low and behold I am walking to our van with my beer and bags only to see on the receipt in LARGE print at the bottom "All customers appearing to be under the age of 40 will be asked to provide proof of age by showing proper ID". Great - so now I don't even look like I am under 40?? I seriously wanted to go back in and show the cashier and say "oops, hon, don't you want to card me?". My husband stopped me, the last thing he wanted was for me to drop to my knees sobbing and begging to be carded.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Amidst the Madness

I picked C up at school on Wednesday. When I got there he was bouncing in and out of the Principals' office. My heart sank and I admit I wondered if I would be able to get out of the hall without being summoned into her office to "talk for a sec" (translation: your son is in BIG trouble and I want to rip your heart out). I stood there wondering if I will always have that gut reaction where I want the floor to open up and swallow me every time the principal walks toward me?

As they walked toward me though the principal looked, peaceful, not frazzled. C gave no indication of being upset as he darted for the front door and I followed (yes, I did think it would be the perfect excuse to not have a long conversation). She followed us and tentatively said " I wanted you to know c had a rough afternoon. He climbed under a table again and so I climbed in there too". I honestly think all I could muster in response was "oh. . . " and she continued, she told me how they found a way to have a conversation and he shared some things he hadn't shared with anyone other than his father and I. As she was telling me this, both my boys were climbing on snow piles and acting like maniacs. It didn't all register with me until later that night.

The Principal climbed under a table and sat with my son and had a heartfelt conversation about why he is sad.

Amidst the madness of late comes this wonderful moment. In so many ways we are so blessed.