It’s IEP time again, and I cannot begin to describe my joy as I left the building this morning. Right in time with Spring, like a breath of fresh air, all things new and beautiful have sprung from a desolate winter.
Where we came from was ugly. A child who was “motor driven, unable to speak, clingy, frustrated, unable to listen, or follow directions.” The world was a dark place, and I didn’t think I would ever see the light of day again. I was uncertain, and in my darkest hours I doubted my survival as an intact human being. I questioned God constantly, a steady stream of prayers to say he’d made a mistake, that I couldn’t do the task He set before me, that this lovely child deserved a better parent than me–deserved better than what I thought I could give him.
He was right, of course. And I was wrong. I found strength. Sometimes by just sitting with the pain, anger and emotions. Sometimes by angry outbursts. Thank His greatness that he always forgives our weaknesses, or I’d have a one-way ticket to the lake of fire and damnation.
This child has taught me more in life than I ever thought possible. I’m a stubborn old dog. So is he. God must have thought that would be funny–I know I do sometimes. He is quirky, and wonderful, and the IEP team thought so too. His teachers love him (I hope they aren’t just saying that). My life would not be complete without him. They wittled away some of his supports. He no longer needs weekly meetings to help with social interaction. He can speak his mind when asked…”How do you like a big school compared to a smaller class?”
He reports that it’s intimidating, but he has a social group he hangs out with and seems happy.
“How are your classes going? Note taking? Need more time on tests?”
“My classes are good, but note taking is hard. I only need more time on some tests, like math where I have to work out the problems.”
The teacher that has him in study hall reported that he shines most and seems happiest when tutoring other kids in math who are struggling. What a joy to hear! All have noticed that both he and his twin perform better when together–due to competition. I used to discourage that, but now have decided that it is better to harness the energy that results from that, while watching with a careful eye.
He wants to take AP European History next year. I thought they might discourage this. Instead, they encourage him to try his wings. He has a remarkable head for dates and events, so I’m not terribly worried about it. Like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon, he has stretched out his wings, letting the breeze dry and strengthen them, waiting for the perfect moment to take off. It’s not far around the corner, I know. And this mom, will delight in the pure joy of the miracle that it is. And give thanks.