Unless you’ve been there, you can never imagine what it’s like to have your child rejected from a school for dysfunctional kids. It’s just something you can’t fathom. It’s like trying to imagine if the #5 was married. You can try to imagine it, but you might hurt your head. Which number would 5 marry? Would 5 marry a number? What if 5 married a letter? Crazy talk, I know.
My son has lots of initials after his name to describe his diagnoses, and by lots I mean into the double-digits of initials. And throughout his ten-page, single-spaced diagnosis sheet, there are diagnoses that require an interpreter.
There are so many letters listed in these pages, I feel sure that there must be one set of letters that will make a match with the school that he wants to go to. He wants to go there because he knows other people who are going there. And when your child, who can’t attend public school, wants to go to a specific school, you do everything in your power to help them get there.
Three other kids in his current school, who had to have certain initials after their names to be accepted, are going to the new school. We should be a shoe-in. He has two teachers going there as well; they must be able to get him in. Right? Piece of cake, really.
But they don’t, you see. This report that ended up costing almost $2,000, with a whole lot of difficulty in the midst, didn’t get us where we needed to go. The initials put after my son’s name and the words used to describe my son don’t match what the new school wants.
Are You Still There?
When the lady called to let me know that my son’s initials don’t match the initials of students that they serve, the tears just came without warning. I was happy and trying to find a parking spot. And then the phone rang. And then I answered that phone. And then the lady talked about why they wouldn’t consider Michael for their school. And then the tears leaked out of my eyeballs. None of this I could stop. It was what happened.
She asked, “Are you still there?”
And I was trying so hard to not “cry-breathe” so she wouldn’t know I was crying. Somehow I needed to protect her from my life, even though she’s now part of my journey.
I said as best I could, “Yeah.”
Then I could hold it no longer because I was meant to talk next and this was a phone conversation and we were not FaceTiming or anything like that. In my very large crying voice, I said, “Okay, thank you for letting me know. I might call you to ask further questions later.”
The lady responded as well as she could with a crying parent on the other end. She said, “Okay, thank you. Bye.”
Life Takes a Turn
My life turned another corner, as our lives continue to do. This happens when we want it to and sometimes when we don’t.
Right now, I get to deal with the feelings of a rejected child from a school for broken children. Yes, this is strong language, and I will share what it will look like when I have had some sleep and time to process this. Right now, though, my emotions and mind are screaming that my son doesn’t have a place to go or to be . . . because of who he is.
What Is the Truth?
And that is simply not the truth.
The truth is that my son is one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met, and our society has an obligation to care for him so that he can become the greatness that he is destined to be. I know we’re not there yet, or I wouldn’t have to try not to cry-breathe with a stranger on the other end of the phone.
I am a single woman. Yes, I’m as powerful as they come, but I need help. I need a village. I have been in powerful villages where my son thrived. I don’t have that now and I want to find a village that can help my son (and me) the way I’d like to see it happen.
So I will cry these tears right now. My eyes are puffy. My body tired. My emotions null and void. I’ve been here before. I’ll be here again.
For now, I will allow this empty, hollow feeling to be with me. I know the importance of being with the emotion and not denying it. It comes back bigger and stronger next time, from my experience, so I work hard not to shun the feeling.
It is time for me to feel this heartbreak and to learn from it and to be with it as long as it needs to be with me. Then, I will know the right way to go—when I have learned, processed, digested, felt, slept, wept, and waited.
Tomorrow Will Come
Tomorrow will come, and I will have more clarity about what’s best for my son. Tomorrow I will know what phone calls to make. I will know what questions to ask. I will know where I need to go and what meetings I need to set up.
Today I don’t know those things. If I force them, they will probably be wrong and not lead me where I really want to go.
Because where I really want to go is to a kind and loving place where my son is challenged appropriately, honored, and cherished for exactly who he is. I want to go where my son will be guided with gentle hands and strong intellect so he can become his full self.
And I want to go there with him.
I say let’s do this together. I invite us to hold hands with those who have different initials after their names. Let’s hold hands with people with no initials after their names. Let’s hold hands without judgment. Let’s hold hands and walk together with compassion for those that are different. And let’s go there with kindness and love in our hearts.
We can do it. We can move forward one feeling, one child, and one initial at a time.
Will you hold my hand and be part of my Facebook village? Join me here.
I’m happy to announce that I made phone calls, I set up meetings, I made time for those meetings, I sat down with my son and talked about what we wanted. I did all the things I knew I would do after I cried, wept, and bawled for the days that I cried, wept, and bawled. He will be attending the same school he’s at now with new leadership, and I feel confident it will be a kind and loving year for my son. I feel like I will learn to trust again. I feel glad that my son didn’t get into the other school. Life turned and I didn’t force it. I feel confident about where we’re at now and where we’re headed for the new year. For now. In this moment, I feel glad. 🙂