I had an end of year meeting with the school for Christian a today. We were coming together to discuss strategies for 4th grade.
I was fine going into this meeting. Keith and I were even cracking jokes on the way there.
I was fine when we scheduled the meeting a month ago.
I was fine. I had no anxiety, no grief, no fear, nothing.
Honestly in the midst of all of it the only negative emotion I felt was tired.
Physically tired and in need of a long nap.
Tired of this process. Tired of the meetings. Tired after YEARS of meetings, therapies, interventions, diets, protocols, etc.
Tired I can do. I am used to tired. So being tired for me does equate to being fine.
The meeting begins and I am sitting at the head of the table taking copious notes and tears begin to fall.
Tears of sheer exhaustion.
Tears that translate to:
“I wish my kid wasn’t one of those kids who needs continued support.”
“I wish my kid wasn’t the kid giving everyone else a hard time.”
“Why can’t life be easier?”
“When can I be done with this?” (This meaning all of the extras that go along with having a child who has challenges).
“If I don’t get things figured out for him soon it’s only going to be more difficult as he gets older”
“I wonder if I’ll have to homeschool. Please no, I am not built for homeschooling.”
“I’m doing everything I can, yet I still feel like I’m failing him.”
“Why us? Other people’s lives are not this hard.”
And then guilt sets in because if I periodically feel this way, then how does my son feel? Guilt because there are MANY people in the world who have it way worse, period.
Soon those tears turn to tears of gratitude. Tears of love. Tears of appreciation.
Here is what Christian’s teacher and counselor had to say about him:
“He is bright.”
“He is incredibly smart.”
“He adds so much value to our classroom.”
”He owns his mistakes.”
“I love when he participates in class discussions.”
“He has a profound ability to make connections.”
“He is extremely philosophical which might seem strange to say since he’s such a literal thinker.”
“He has high intelligence.”
“Sometimes when I talk to him it’s like talking to a little adult.”
Today was a wonderful reminder to count our blessings.
Because not every family with a behavior plan, 504, or IEP is as lucky as we are.
Because not every child is so lucky to have a team of adults who are there to support and encourage them PERIOD.
Earlier this year when the team asked to know more about Christian. The first thing I told them was that his love language is words of affirmation. Instead of being met with blank stares, snickers or eye rolls, his teacher responded with excitement “me too!”. She used that nugget as a way to connect with him. She encouraged him. She wrote him positive messages on top of his tests and homework. When he misbehaved she made sure she did not shame, embarass, or single him out publicly. She created trust and respect with a little boy who reserves that priveledge for only special people in his life.
My son is SEEN. He is protected. His heart, mind, and self esteem are SAFE when I send him to school. Our team is rooting for him. They want him to win!
He isn’t just part of a transaction happening on autopilot between teacher and student. This is conscious love in action. It’s watching people living their purpose and fulfilling their gifts via the way they show up for my son and other students.
We spoke about Christian’s areas for improvement for 4th grade. His current teacher, counselor, our wonderful ABA therapist, and the principal all have laser sharp input and strategies in place.
I have much more ahead to support his mind, body and spirit. We’ll be trying a few different things this summer that I will be blogging about.
Christian is set up for success!
*This was written not for pity or praise, but to show a glimpse into the life of a parent who is struggling. A lot of times it seems like I struggle more than he does. As much as I meditate, pray and understand the bigger picture I still have moments, days, and even weeks where my exhaustion clouds positivity. It’s the kindness of our team acting as a beautiful reminder that pulled me out from under the current today.