I've been thinking about this quote a lot.
Times have been tough for us lately. The Kid's school hasn't been especially supportive of his needs in general lately, culminating in us missing the big sixth grade music performance because I had no idea it was happening. I think they'd been giving the kids instructions verbally to go home and tell their parents, not thinking that some kids don't have the ability to relay messages like that. I had no idea it was happening. His teacher this year has been the meanest lady ever. I don't even want to go in to it, but let's just say my son's behaviors have increased this year by a factor of three and they are the direct result of being humiliated and stressed by an overly strict and rigid teacher.
We are moving to a new city this summer and we've been visiting schools in an attempt to make an educated decision on the neighborhood we choose. My first meeting with one school began with the teacher sitting down and saying that she would not be able to enact my son's IEP and that they'd just prefer to rewrite it off the bat. She might be right, but her tone and her dismissal of all of the hard work and hard won wisdom that is in that document today was disheartening. When I talk to these prospective schools the vibe I get from all of them is, "how much will we have to do for THIS kid, ugh."
I'm feeling very at odds with educators this week, which just so happens to be Teacher Appreciation week. Teachers have been breaking my heart right and left lately, so I'm hardly feeling like appreciating them for the jobs that do. I mean, they get a paycheck to do what they do. And they are mean to my kid. Let's get them flowers?
Ugh I hate that I wrote that. I like teachers, I couldn't do their jobs. I think they deserve to be recognized for jobs well done. But I'm finding it really hard to go out of my way to give them kudos when all of the teachers we're in contact with this year seem to be going out of their way to make our lives miserable and hard.
In short, I'm feeling negative. I'm feeling spite and anger. Sadness, really, is what I'm feeling. I'm sad that my son is not enjoying his school years like I did. I'm sad that I don't feel included in our current school community. I'm sad that my son has had to encounter a trusted teacher who appears to not like him. I'm sad that not one of the schools in our new area is giving me a good feeling that things are going to get better.
Those are the seeds I'm planting right now, even though I really wish I wasn't. How do you turn this around? How do I engender compassion and love for people that I feel are giving my son a tougher row to hoe than is necessary? I want to be zen, I want to be positive. I normally am.
I normally have full awareness that I can't control the reactions of others, only my own. But how long do you live with negative reactions to you and your son and your life before you start to internalize these things? Or maybe, how can I live through these emotions, own them and let them be what they are, but just somehow manage to not plant them in my heart that is like a garden? Maybe that is what it is. Don't let them take root.
Molly is a mom, erstwhile blogger, current insurance professional and graduate student living in Colorado.