Monday, 08 November 2010
I’m afraid to believe that my son’s 4th grade in his new school is going so well. Connor is in a gen ed class 93% of the time; he is making As and Bs (albeit with modified programs for reading and writing); he even participated in an after-school creative writing class with 12 other students without his para. His teachers are great, and they understand that despite his language delays, he is a very bright little boy who can handle high expectations if given the chance. The kids at the school are also wonderful, and Connor has made three new friends. The administrators and the special ed team are outstanding. I take Connor to school, so I don’t worry about bullying on the bus (if there would be any – this seems to be a very nice bunch of kids, perhaps due in part to the school administrators’ emphasis on character education and zero tolerance for bullying).
So what am I so $%@! afraid of?
The simple answer is that I’m afraid to trust that everything really is going so well. So I find myself over-reacting to the tiniest things – Connor got a D on his math test yesterday (Is he falling behind?); Connor had a tantrum at the end of the school day (Oh no! That hasn’t happened in ages–do we need to bring in a specialist? Are the other kids being mean to him? Will the teachers label him as a trouble-maker?). And then, I find myself emailing the teacher and resource manager every day and googling every single person in the school to check up on their qualifications and to make sure they don’t have a criminal record.
Honestly, I’m wound so tight that I could give a woodpecker a headache. Even I am embarrassed by my behavior.
I can’t say my fears are completely unwarranted. When my child was strapped into a chair in pres-school or when he was left languishing in 100 degree heat during ’special ed’ summer school or when his his present level of performance was deliberately understated to keep him under the Phase II label (even though he was never in a Phase II classroom)…it put a scar on my very soul…and goodness only knows what harm it did to my son. So, I kinda feel justified for being so hyper-vigilant …especially since almost all of our issues occurred with the people who were supposed to be helping him – his special education team!
So, I am forcing myself to let up a little, to see what happens this year, and above all, to learn to trust in the much-maligned, but more-often-heroic public school system. It takes time and effort to let go of that suspicion, distrust and unhealthy paranoia. But I’m working on it, and am taking a little bit of time to work on me. Maybe I’ll even get a new haircut, start exercising, and reach out to old friends..wouldn’t that be something different!