Friday, March 27, 2009

Head vs. Heart

This morning I stopped in to see Daniel's teacher before school started. My mind had been reeling since the IEP and I wanted to talk a few things out with just her. Partially because I knew that I would have tears streaming down my face the whole time. Which I did by the way. I don't mind as much in a one on one, but with 11 other people in the room (like at the IEP) I will try my damnedest to keep it in. It has always made me so mad that crying is the way that 90% of my emotions show themselves.

We had a good meeting and she even left the other teacher from her team to run the start up class time to take me alone to talk. I thought that showed a tremendous amount of respect for me and my feelings. I was waiting for her at one point still in the classroom and I could hear Daniel whispering over in the corner "it's time to say goodbye now mom" aka get the hell out of my classroom you don't belong here!! So I stepped out into the hall to wait for her.

My heart and my head are wrestling with each other. I am trying to honor my son by having him in an atmosphere where he can get as much peer support as possible. We have spend 6 years working on these peer relationships and to yank him out of classes where these very supportive kids are feels a bit like I am turning on him. It is one of his few requests. My heart is breaking. I was going over his schedule last night and it sort of looks like this:

1. resource math
2. science (gen ed)
3. band (gen ed)
4. co taught math (gen ed, but the slower paced math so probably not the peers on his list)
5. resource ELA
6. academic support (I found out today that this can be a few different environments so we are looking into this more)

I just wasn't feeling like this was a lot of social/peer time that we are needing. BUT my head is telling me the time is right for the concentrated efforts academically. If we can pull him up closer to his peers, can he rejoin in some of the classes next year? Will that year away hurt those relationships? This is the argument going on between my head and my heart. They both have valid points. Can there be a clear winner? I don't know. Nothing is perfect. That's one of the morals of this story. His teacher said today she called Daniel's other teacher right after the IEP to tell her how broken hearted she was. Do you know why? Exactly what I said, she described the moment when they asked me what I wanted for ELA and I said "I want it all". It killed her. Because we all want it all. She said she thought that was the best answer she had ever heard. Because Daniel deserves it all. So we sat down and tried to figure out ways to work those peers in as much as we can. Peer groups, lunch, down time. We are going to have it all figured out. Who will win between my head and my heart? I am trying to pacify my heart with the meeting we had today. I'm looking for more information to help me feel better about my decision. It is sending me into micromanagement mode. That's what I do when I feel like I'm losing some control. Hopefully I'll find the balance and we can have it all.


kristi said...

Why is it so hard??

Jodi said...

Just finished my weekly "me time" by reading your 2 latest posts. WOW - sounds like you've had a week. I'm so proud and impressed with your courage, persistence an advocacy. You truly are an inspiration, and I hope you know that. <3

I also think that it may be very normal to feel apprehensive about middle school ANYWAY. I dont know if this helps you or not - but I would guess many parents are feeling the way you are. Of course, you have an entirely different level of concern - but I recall middle school being a pivotal moment in my life for a variety of reasons (least of which - my Dad was my principal - can you say SUCKY!) Peer relationships, academic expectations change, young adults change. I certainly don't mean to downplay your anguish and strong desire to "have it all" - however, I think you are not alone.

My mom has always told me 2 things that I try to remember and live by when the going gets tough.

#1) When the time comes, you'll be ready. This has gotten me through more than you can even imagine. You and I are alike in many ways, and I truly believe that when the time comes you (and Daniel) will be ready.

#2) Seek support where you know you'll find it

#3) OK there's 3....If you still aren't sold on your decisions, it could be because you don't have all the information you need. That's OK. Keep digging, experimenting, blazing and investigating.

Lastly, I just want to give you credit for first even asking Daniel what he wants, and secondly for trying so hard to accommodate. I agree with the teacher - I think there will be natural connections that will be made (lunch, hallways, "down time) and friendship that will remain - because of the hard work and dedication you've built into Daniel and his peer group. It's an investment - and I promise it will pay off.

As I consistently remind you, you are an AMAZING mother, advocate and voice for Daniel. No one can do it better than you (in the broad sense of the word...YOU also includes T and Z). Good luck, and give yourself some credit, at least for tonight. "You done good."


Mama Mara said...

You've done a wonderful job.

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

I'm a crier too. I almost cried during my news interview! Kristi's right - it is so hard, and we're just trying to figure it out and do the best we can for our kids. We've earned every tear we shed! Take care.

Amy said...

I hear ya.

Nancy said...

Daniel is such a lucky boy to have you for his mama!