Being a mother, a parent, is so hard. I fail in small ways every day: my too-short temper, words yelled that I can’t take back; or half-paid attention, the mm-hmms and uh-huhs while I’m engaged in something I’d rather be doing than parenting that second, the next second, the every single second.
In parenting the days of doubts are many. Yes, the days of love and grace are plenty, but there are so few days of victory.
But for me, today was a victory day.
I had a meeting at Zack’s new school, to evaluate his special education status and make plans for the year. The meeting was an hour. And then I walked out the school, dazed, and then cried, standing in the parking lot, the beautiful colors of fall all around me, as I realized that I did it. I really did it.
I got Zack through five fucking awful, terrible heartbreaking years. And he is now in the right school for him, and all the teachers and all the special ed team and the principal just LOVE him. And they GET him, so deeply. In the special ed meeting, I was floored by how much they completely understood how, when and where his anxiety and ADHD issues interrupt his performance and how they intuitively knew to help him.
The teacher told me about how Zack was reading a story he wrote out loud to the classroom that had all these subtle puns in it, which were just FLYING over the head of the class and how she tried so hard not to laugh. The people who did the evaluation and testing went on and on about how polite he was, and HOW MUCH HE KNEW HIMSELF. (He said things like, “Oh, I’m too fried to do that part now. Tomorrow?” and “I make this noise (drumming his fingers) to help me concentrate — it’s not bothering you, is it?”
I can die and go to heaven now, knowing that I succeeded at least in this, in working so hard when he was struggling and helping him know his issues and not think they were failures and on never giving up on finding a place where he would thrive as his own person and not as a “special ed student.”
I know there’s more hard to come, there always is, but I’m calling today a VICTORY, and it feels so so good.
Oh, baby Zack, I love you so much. And I’m so, so happy and proud you are doing so well being the you you are, and that through all this I was able to make you know you never needed to be anything otherwise.