Tertia gets up very early for school; the bus comes at 6:50 most mornings, and we are still recovering from Spring Forward in our house. She usually gets downstairs a little before me, fixes her breakfast and maybe even her lunch (although I like to make sure she isn't just packing rice and applesauce). This morning I noticed her outfit as she was eating breakfast.
That, and I have to give credit to her school. I can't imagine a girl like Tertia being accepted and genuinely liked at the public schools I attended decades ago. It was a huge factor in why I was really hesitant to put her, or any of my kids, in public schools. But the climate has so vastly improved since then. They really are on her side, and they won't tolerate unkindness to her. I love the fact that wherever I go, as soon as people figure out I'm Tertia's mom, they start to gush. It happened multiple times today, picking her up at the attendance office - "We LOVE her!", being greeted by a girl she has known since elementary school, then later when I returned to the school for her IEP. And this evening when an old teacher called to see if I'd be willing to talk with another mom about her middle school experience, and then was really thrilled to talk to the leprechaun herself, who had just finished doing her dishes.
There's always a bit of a disconnect for me, though. I read this blog post recently, which sums up the difficulties parents of special needs kids face. Are we just lucky that Tertia has so few issues and is so well-liked? Is there something really important we're missing? Is it about to get much, much worse? What happens when you're double and triple booked and showing up late to your daughter's IEP because you're bringing her home from an orthodontist appointment that went late? And what in the world am I supposed to say when some of my own students, when I detail some of the horrific deeds of the emperor Nero in a history lesson, respond with multiple cries of "that's so RETARDED!" Sometimes there's just not enough bandwidth in the brain to deal with the complexities of life.
I laughed... and I was mortified. Here's all this wonderful inclusion, with kids with disabilities being fully included in a concert choir, and mine is not being very inclusive herself. It has taken me this long to write about it. Now granted, everyone I have talked to about it thinks it was hilarious, and I should probably just roll with it and sincerely hope that Mr. Z's mother will be able to do that too. But still, it makes life complicated. Sometimes I really want a nice, simple life.
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