6 Jun
2016
Posted in: parenting
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Mama, They See You

I’ll be limping across the finish line this week on the last day of school wrung-out and emotionally drained. Our 5th grader has had A YEAR. I cannot tell you anything specific academically he learned because academics took a backseat this year to some serious life lessons.

There have been difficulties in the classroom with another student. There have been laws to study and bureaucracy to wade through. There have been meetings and emails…so many meetings and emails. We seriously thought about pulling kids out of the public school system based on actions of another student and the lack of action by administrators. Our children didn’t want to leave school, and honestly, I didn’t want to leave the other students in an environment that had shortcomings. I see a problem with some laws that I am determined to shed light on. I wasn’t going to silently fade away.

5th grade boy swining on playground equipment

It’s been complicated. I have yelled and cried. Our son has cried. There’s been hours of lost sleep. I’ve struggled to understand the “why” of the situation and have given up attempts to make our son understand the situation he and his classmates endured. It was unnecessary, unhealthy and ridiculous.

A common troubling thread runs through all of the incidents, phone calls, meetings and emails. There was a loss of humanity on the part of many adults involved who both my son and I saw as people capable of doing something about the situation. There was no administrator diffusing the situation for us. I listened to a litany of legal phrases over and over and over. There were no phone calls asking about our son. There were no emails inquiring if we had seen any positive changes in the classroom. There was no humanity in the bureaucracy. There were people following laws and rules and not focusing on all the people hurting in the situation.

Kind words can bridge a gap of animosity. We wanted to know we were being heard. We wanted acts of kindness. There were people who listened to me vent and watched me cry. There were some who were so very kind to me and our son. The people who actually had control of the situation were not those people.

5th grade boy swining on playground equipment

The situation ended up with an incident that left our son simply saying, “I told you so.” The year will end problem-free which is a gift for those kids and one less worry for this mama, but it has been too long of battle that took a toll.

Our son wasn’t privy to every call or meeting or email on his behalf. He saw my frustration at the stories he would relate from school. He knew I was attempting to make his learning environment more peaceful. Last week he thanked me for everything I did. He thanked me for standing up for him when he felt no one else cared. He thanked me for my time. He thanked me for defending him and his rights. He thanked me because he saw it all.

At times I feel our children take me for granted. They don’t understand the time that goes into taking care of them. But, I’m wrong. They do see me and what I do for them. There’s good and bad in that. I have not kept my temper under control through this school year. I have raised my voice and pointed fingers at other adults. I have cried in offices and hallways and stormed out of buildings. A valuable lesson learned by our children through this school year is that their mom will do right by them. The process might be long, frustrating and tedious, but I won’t back down when their well-being is at stake.

Mamas, they see what we do. They see the way we love them in the infinite ways we show it. There were times I wanted to stop fighting. I was getting nowhere and literally giving myself high blood pressure in the process. I’m glad I didn’t because he saw me. He saw how much I love him. I’ll remember those thank yous for those future times when it feels it’s all for nothing because I know they see me.

 

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