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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tiny Bubbles

(Bangs head on table.)

Why? Why? Why?

Why do I keep doing this to myself? By now, I should know that living in a flowery bubble is so much better for my heart. Don’t break the bubble. Don’t venture outside the protective shell. And, certainly, CERTAINLY, stay away from people who carry pins.

You know, like those scary, pin-wielding kindergarteners.

Pop, pop, pop.


I walk into Ellie’s classroom with determination and zeal, ready to conquer. I pray that I will see Ellie catching up to the other kids. I rally my heart, convinced that I’ll be able to handle it this go ‘round.

I lasted about five minutes today. Then, I began fighting the battle against the tears forming in the eyes of my soul.

Every kid was writing their name on the top of the worksheet. Legibly. Every kid was reading the word “the”. Easily. Every kid was counting by tens. Effortlessly. Every kid was cutting out their shapes. Painlessly.

Every kid except mine, that is.

Did Ellie notice that she was the only one not completing the task? I don’t think so. Was Ellie happy tracing the letter-that-she-can’t-yet-recognize in her macaroni? Totally. Why, then, did *I* notice? And, tell me, why wasn’t *I* happy? It doesn’t make any sense, because Ellie’s happiness is always my top priority.

I was in Ellie’s class today because the vision therapist was coming to observe her for the first time. Of course, when one therapist comes, the whole team follows. It’s FANTASTIC that they communicate and that they’re all pulling together for Ellie’s success. But, at one point this afternoon, I looked at the scene in the kindergarten classroom and sighed.

Surrounding Ellie were SIX adults—the EA, the occupational therapist, the speech therapist, the vision therapist, the teacher and the mom. The other kids were seated at their desks, working on their writing skills while my daughter was surrounded by a special needs entourage.

Pop, pop, pop.

Another mom was helping out in the classroom. She noticed that Ellie was starting to get impatient, listening to all the “big people” talk about her. The mom, in a gracious effort, snuck into the circle and gave Ellie a box filled with Mr. Potato Head parts.

My first reaction to this gesture? I wanted to punch the other mom in the face.

Don’t take pity on me! Don’t be so condescending as to think you can shove a box of toys in front of my kid and hide your sympathy! Don’t mask the fact that you look at me and think, “Thank God MY daughter isn’t like THAT!” Don’t try to be friends with me! Don’t try to talk to me! Don’t say that you understand! You DON'T understand! I didn't want it this way! This wasn't the plan! I wanted to be YOU!

Of course, I smiled at the other mom and mouthed “thank you”, while my heart was screaming insults. Completely unwarranted insults.

I hate going to Ellie’s class. There, I said it.

What kind of mom feels that way? And, more importantly, what do I do about it?

Do I force myself to continue my monthly classroom volunteering stint? Or is it okay for me to come up with some sort of excuse that will get me out of it? Do I need to suck it up, because sooner or later, Ellie will pick up on my feelings (which is my nightmare)? Will Ellie think that I'm disappointed in HER?

Is my pretty little bubble unhealthy?

Sigh. It’s been a rough day. Thankfully, tomorrow is Conductive Education day. A day when every kid in Ellie’s class uses a walker. A day when the entourage encapsulates every student. A good day, smack-dab in the middle of the bubble.


Mo said...

You know the answer... you are no less of a mom because you feel like this. In fact, in a sense that only others in your boat can understand, you are an even BETTER mom. A mom whose emotions make your girl the wonderful, happy, fighting soul that she is. Todays like today are OK. Give yourself a break.

Amy said...

Yeah, it's okay to feel like this sometimes. Gosh, you are only human. You ROCK! I agree with Mo. Cut yourself some slack here. This ain't the easiest trip to be on. Sometimes it is just so hard to suck it up and go on... But, I also agree with Mo... you know the answer.

Hugs, because I totally, totally get it.

I feel this way MANY, MANY days.

ellen :) said...

Every post like this I want to come there and give you a big ol hug! Because I REALLY get it! No, you are not a bad mom, in case you needed telling... ALL moms of SN kids feel like this! I feel this way even when I go into public with Sam in general. I know it is great that Ellie is included in a reg. kindergarten, but that must make things worse...I feel like i am in a bubble when I go into Sam's class because he is in a separate classroom with other SN kids, but they are all physically able and he is not... they have speech and he does not... they have hand control and he does not... you get the idea... it's hard no matter what. I was just thinking the other day though that I don't feel so sad when we go places as I used to..that almost scares me that I am becoming numb to things I shouldn't be?? I also get the other parent thing..i am proud of you for being able to be honest about your feelings..I always feel that way and never say anything to brian because he thinks I'm being rude thinking that way. :( Stay strong and be there in the class for ELLIE , she appreciates it!

Diane said...

We are the strongest women out there, although the other parents unconsciously show pity or sometimes they know what they are doing, it still hurts. I have asked the teachers in the daycare to allow my son to partake in the activities like any other child, although it is a battle, I get the folders at the end of the week to show what he has done. Then I break down and cry, because I can see the stack difference in him and his twin. It hurts! But don't you dear feel pity for me! I tell myself each day, " he will walk, he will crawl and he will talk" not as others do but in his own special way. We are their strength.