Monday, August 01, 2005

It's just a matter of perspective.

Back when my daughter was still attending regular school, as one might expect, the parents of children with special needs tended to talk amongst themselves.

I'm sure that we were drawn together primarily because of the circumstances - that being our kids were always having problems with the first grade shark teacher Mrs. Ginny Galpin (yes, I will publicly state her name as a warning to unsuspecting parents and potential pupils), forevermore to be known as "That Bitch®".

(And Yes, she was that bad, as a teacher and as a human being. Actually I don't even know for sure if she really was human at all. And just because someone is certified to teach does not necessarily mean that they should even be allowed near children.)

We parents frequently had opportunities to chat as our kids were always serving afternoon retentions (as opposed to the Saturday detention where you had to show up at 8am, in uniform, pay $20 CASH ONLY to the supervising teacher and write lines for 2 hours). We came to know each other, and our respective children, very very well.

And whatever our individual experiences, current personal situations, ages, cultural or socio-economic status, we clung to each other like refugees precariously floating on a raft in an ocean of mom-eating teachers sharks.

As we gathered to commiserate, the most popular topic of conversation was the treatment of our children by "That Bitch®". We knew teaching our children was sometimes difficult and while attending the same class they could be a handful. However, we also saw how wonderfully special these kids are. So, together, we laughed, we cried, we shared, we consoled.

And we often asked the questions prefaced by "Why?".

Among them: Why does "That Bitch®" have to yell at them so much? Why are our kids the ones always singled out for punishment by "That Bitch®" when often the "normal" kids are doing the same exact things? Why don't they fire "That Bitch®"? (Actually they did 'let her go' but it was too late, the damage had been done.)

But we also had other "why" questions as well.

As in: Why can't my kid catch a break? Why can't they do something, anything, to help my child? Why does this happen to my child? Why is this happening to me?

However, it was that last question which really showed me one day that despite the common thread we were still vastly different. Especially in our approaches to raising a special needs child.

One mom said to me, "I always ask God 'Why me? Why did You send me a child like this? What have I done to deserve to be punished like this?'" She followed this up with, " I must have been a really horrible person in my past life?"


I told her, "That's pretty funny, 'cause all along I've been wondering 'Why me?' too. And I've also wondered about my past life experiences as well, but I've always asked Him 'What ever have I done to make You think I was worthy of being entrusted with such a special job? You must be pretty confident that I can handle this without screwing it up. I'll do my best not to let You down. (But a little help every now and then couldn't hurt either. Amen.)'"

I always figured that HE found me to be the person best suited to raising an exceptional child like ~K~. I never saw parenting her as a punishment.

~K~ is my reward. I like to think that I am hers.

How lucky are we to have each other?

I guess it's all how you look at it.


  • At 1:32 AM, Blogger Storm said…

    That's a great way to look at it, and I think it's totally true.


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