Monday, September 29, 2008

Crisis Schmisis

Last week my thirty-something identity crisis was dealt a new hand of reality, guilt, and new (more) self-doubt. A parent-teacher conference regarding my adored middle son sent me reeling. Let me set up the story: Coops was diagnosed with ADHD last winter and has been taking ritalin at school to help him through. Medication naysayers be damned: This is a perfectly charming, intelligent little boy who used to come home after school and ask me why he didn't have any friends and why he was "such an idiot" and why he couldn't "do anything right." The first week of medication he started learning the other kindergärtners' names (after three months of not remembering or even noticing them, I'm sure), discovered that his classroom had a practical life area (quote to his teacher, "When did this get here?!?!?"), and was suddenly able to sit in class and listen to his teacher and the other students. So don't tell me that ADHD should just be worked through with therapy and that meds are bad for kids. They clearly can help some children immensely. So, that is the set-up....

Cooper has gone back to being disruptive in class (by walking around inappropriately, interrupting, and being overall just very unfocused and in need of lots of guidance) and his teacher suggested that we get an IEP (Individual Education Plan) in place soon, if this behavior continued. Coops also has asthma and allergies, so I guess all these things together qualify him for "special ed" - which is about all I heard in the entire meeting! Special Ed, blah, blah, your child's an idiot, blah, blah, SPECIAL ED, blah, blah,... vomit.... I know I was being ridiculous, but at the same time, honestly, How many disappointments does a parent have to swallow?? I know that kids can't be the perfect little better-than-mini-me's that we imagine when they are darling little babies.... I know this and am okay with that. But, seriously, "special ed?!?!?!?"

OK, now that I've ranted about that, I will say *5 days later* that I get that it is not the special ed that I grew up with. It is a blessing and a perk in the modern public school system that really could be a huge help to my little guy who does, admittedly, need a lot more guidance than the regular first grader. I know he is a smart boy and when he is older, hopefully, he will be able to shine and use his peculiar advantages to his benefit.

SO, the revelation in all of this was that he currently and will continue to need a LOT of help. Ritalin alone is not going to make everything OK, which we already know, I was just in denial about the future. I also realized that I am unwilling to hand the reins of being the primary caregiver over to my husband or anyone else. And that leaves me right where I already am. A housewife. I have got to figure out a way to make my life more meaningful and fulfilling, and I have to be able to do that primarily from home. While visiting family in Annapolis over the weekend, my husband and his family apparently decided that I should be a writer. It's not that being scatterbrained doesn't make for a great librarian ;-), it is just that they've never actually met a librarian with my particular talents before. Alright, they got me on that one, but I could be a great librarian, I'm sure of it!

That is where things stand for now. No doubt therapy on Wednesday will uncover a new heap of crap that I swept under the metaphorical rug years ago....

My next post will be dedicated to my amazing, generous husband who saved my weekend (while he was out of town).

1 comment:

Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.