Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Last Day

Monday marked my kids' last day at their school...not just for the school year, but forever. Next year they'll be off on new adventures that don't take place at their neighborhood school. The one within walking distance. The one my son started four-year-old kindergarten in. The one that made us buy this house we're living in now, just because it was in that school's attendance area.

I'm still dealing with some bitterness.

On Monday I kept an eye on the clock and smiled when it hit 2:30, because my kids were done with class, and breathed a sigh of relief at 4:10 because I knew my husband had picked them up from the after-school program. They had walked out of that school and wouldn't be back.

On the way home I rolled the windows down and cranked up my car stereo. It took three rounds of screaming along to a full-volume rendition of "Factory Girls" by Flogging Molly to shout out my anger, frustration, disappointment, and hurt. Today it took one play each of the Foo Fighters' "My Hero" and "Monkey Wrench." So that's progress towards acceptance, right? 

I'm making progress, but I'm still so mad.

I'm mad that I sat in that principal's office talking about a special ed referral and believed her when she said, "We don't want a label, we want information. We aren't doing right by him and we need to know more about him."

I'm mad that they discounted the resulting information when it didn't provide an autism label.

I'm mad that this year they took every opportunity to show me the ways he was average, or not measuring up.

I'm mad that the school psychologist offered her help, but after I signed consent for her to work with him, she didn't see him. Not a single time.

I'm mad that the "educational plan" that was supposed to serve as his gifted education plan consisted of remedial writing goals, and was never really implemented or revisited.

I'm mad that his teacher thought he was lazy, and not that he had a fine motor impairment. I'm mad that she attributes his improved handwriting to improved effort, and not to the hours he's spent in occupational therapy.

I'm mad that my husband and I are the only ones in my son's corner. The teachers, the principal, the other staff...at the end of the day, the only people who are fighting purely for my son's best interests are my husband and me.

And most of all, I'm mad that I'm going to move on after all this frustration and hurt, that my son is going to move on after feeling like a fish out of water all year, and the school won't feel an ounce of it. Not one iota. They're just happy he's gone, and they don't feel that they're in the wrong at all.

I'm trying to let it go. Maybe on my commute home tomorrow I'll have one more screaming song, and then I'll move on with summer. Museums and library trips and exploring and sunny days in the backyard and loving my kids unconditionally for who they are and where they're at right now.