Friday, December 3, 2010

making things right

I have been contemplating this lately. How does one make things right? Do you make it right for the people around you? The general community, the creation at large? Or do you do the best that you can with what you have to work with and leave the rest go?

Being the youngest, we are all supposed to be the "people pleasers". Supposedly we are happiest when everyone else is happy and even better happy with us.

Lately, I beleive we haven't made some people happy (or maybe we have, who knows). We have been told we are graceless, out for public acclaim, we are difficult and we are mean spirted. Now I can tell you honestly, I have been called a lot of things in my life but those adjectives have never been part of the description. What bothers me the most is that this description was given to my husband and I by people who have known us briefly. They don't know WHAT it is like to be a special ed parent, nor what we go through regularly.

We live in a world of schools. Teachers, principals and therapists become like family. Sometimes they are family, and sometimes they are "adopted" briefly and move on when our child makes a change. As such, parents like us have earned our "stripes" in difficult environments. We are outspoken, we are direct, and we ask uncomfortable questions. As special ed parents, this is all part of the package. We are advocates for our child. Because of that, if people aren't used to it that means that we come off as though we are problematic. Ironically, when I mentioned that to my son's doc, she laughed and said, "You two? Now that is funny. You two are the best advocates I know for your son, and if that is being problematic, I wish more parents were like you."

Recently, we came off as difficult only because we don't know what goes on in a gen ed world. We aren't generic....we aren't cookie cutter and we aren't able to comprehend things that we don't have the expereince with (gen ed people). We need people to tell us that gen people are delicate, and scared of us and out kid. Who knew? we didn't, we do everything with sledgehammer because that is what we HAVE had to do daily to make certain our son is learning what he needs to learn to get along in the blasted generic society that he is going to be stuck with for the rest of his life! It is called working within the system (fortunately now the school thing is awesome) and there have been times when we are crying, upset and frustrated because we either aren't told the whole story, or are annoyed because gen people are just that gen people. Working outside the box in special education is beyond what they are mentally capable of. Because of that, we cry and are sad because they miss out a lot.

We are difficult, when we know people don't understand what we are doing, where we are going and how things are going to be. Some may call it "Being directed by God", actually, that is what my husband calls it. I call it "Being pushed, shoved kicking and fighting into a direction that I may or may not what to be in." Most of the time if there is problem, if it is generic, we walk away. We have SO MANY things to contend with, generic issues are so beyond what we are dealing with....many times we find it isn't worth the effort. We expend SO MUCH energy for so many different things. Doing even one more thing, one more meeting, one more whatever is just more than we have available to us at any given time.

Our stuff is the big life issuses kind of thing. The who, what, where, how and why. It involves writing a "Life Book" in case anything happens to my husband or I so people know how to help our son if he needs it or he knows how to help himself by going to it as he gets older. Our issues are the "ultimate scheme of things" issues, and not just a kid who dislikes our son to such a degree that our son only feels safe as far away as possible from this kid. BTW- we did help our son by letting him decide what he wanted with that issue and he chose to walk away. Deciding what college, cooking school, business management program and if he wants graduate school to go to.....then where to live and how to suceed...this is where we are going and if we go in "public" or we hide in a freaking basement (he better not, it will get cold w/out heat) it doesn't matter as long as our son DOES THE BEST HE CAN DO.

Yes we are graceless, souless pieces of work that have been chosen by God to do something great. I would love to know what it is but for now, we will get up at 4:30 AM and head out to yet another wrestling meet to watch our boy rack up points for his team!

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