It was open house at Brennan’s school tonight. We went, got to talk to his teacher, had hot dogs, toured the school and read some of Bren’s work. We got a fantastic handout from Bren’s teacher. It gives some good ideas on how to help him and how to ensure that we meet his needs. I’m still trying to strip away my personal feelings about this and how I wish I’d had these opportunities when I was a kid.
This isn’t about me, it’s about him. So I read the materials and I marvel at how simple it seems – how straightforward. Support him fully – not just academic needs, but the social and emotional. It stinks to be different in a world that espouses how great it is to be unique and individual, yet it seems like there is the constant pressure to be “normal.” The fact that he feels normal now that he’s in this class says it all for me. It’s like I’ve been holding my breath about it, waiting for what was going to go wrong… thinking perhaps that it wouldn’t live up to our hopes. I confessed to his teacher that this was us giving the public system one last chance. If this hadn’t worked out, I would have been looking at alternatives.
Instead, we find a supportive, nurturing environment where he can be a normal kid. And we have fellow parents who understand what we’re going through. We met his two little buddies from class, as well as their parents. Nice little boys – energetic and intense, just like Bren.
I look at this school and this teacher and I hope that they maintain this level of quality when Aidan hits school-age. I have absolutely no idea if he shares these same characteristics that Bren does, but there is a little voice in the back of my mind that says, “Oh yeah, and you’d better be prepared for it.”
I still feel that twinge sometimes, the one that says I’m over-estimating my child – that I’m seeing something that doesn’t exist. And I wonder if that isn’t the “Nice Girl Syndrome” – you know – the one where you have to be humble and self-deprecating, even going so far as to extend it to your children. It’s a big part of the reason I questioned so many things during the 6 months leading up to Brennan starting kindergarten and it’s the reason I didn’t stand up for Brennan when we were talking to his old principal.
Now I look at it and I think that I was unable to trust myself about what I thought or suspected. I’ve done a LOT of reading on this subject once we started to get some confirmation back from his school and now I’ve found confident footing.
I certainly wouldn’t make those same wimpy mistakes again.
One positive outcome from tonight (for me) is the volunteer coordinator for Bren’s class talked to me tonight and I got signed up to help out from 3-3:30 pm each day. I get off work and I can head straight over to the school, getting there at 3pm. School gets out at 3:15 and Bren and I will stay there for a bit. I’m going to be their “Copy Queen.” Now it’s been killing me that I couldn’t volunteer time at the class. I look at the moms who stay home, who have the time to be there, and it makes me incredibly depressed. When Brennan found out I was going to volunteer for his class, he got blazingly excited. It’s making ME and HIM happy.
It’s fantastic. The funny part? I work tech support, sitting and talking on the phone all day – 8 hours. As copy queen I’ll be standing and I won’t have to deal with people. The teacher and the coordinator thought it was hilarious how thrilled I was!
We’ve been stumbling along, trying like crazy to figure things out. I think we may have accidentally gotten it right after all.
Yes, I’m still sick and no, I’m not happy about it. I slept like crap last night due to the sore throat. I’m knocking myself out tonight and I’m hoping for something resembling sleep. I made it through work today and I think I can just squeak through tomorrow. I’ve got the notice about the parents advocacy group for gifted education and I’m going to call tomorrow afternoon, so I can square up bringing Aidan to the first meeting. Todd’ll be at scouts with Brennan that night.
I’ve got to say this: I love being a parent. I love working hard for my children and I love my family. Todd and I are erratic and sometimes seat-of-the-pants, but we are good parents. We’re not perfect and we don’t strive for it. We just do our best and keep on moving forward. The moments I love most in our lives are when we’re together. Yes, sometimes we need a “grown-up” break and there are times when a last nerve has been pressed upon (or stretched past the breaking point!), but it still can’t be beat. On the weekend of the 19th, the four of us are heading off for a weekend vacation to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. Yes, we could have arranged to have our kids stay with family while Todd & I went off on our own, but I was traveling last year, for our 10th…. I missed it. The one big day of the year, where it meant the most to me, I was off by myself.
This year it’s going to be about our little family, together, the way we should be. Only Danny, our dog, will be left (hopefully Gramma Donna will help us there – he needs love and company)… and I’d take him with us, but Aidan is enough to keep us hopping. We’ll owe Danny a trip to the cabin – or several trips to the cabin…
Anyway. That’s where I am. I know who I am. I know what is important to me. If I keep that central in my life, everything else will flow from it.