Monday, August 20, 2012

Meet-n-Greet: Meet My Fears

Today was Kate's meet and greet for gen ed.

Gen ed.
I still can't wrap my hyper mind around that!

The line to get into the school was out the door and around the building.
They allotted 30 minutes to meet.
And greet.
Not just us but the WHOLE school.

And then....the moment of truth.
We met.
We greeted.
We shook hands.
I introduced Kate.
The teacher was super pleasant, warm and welcoming.
Kate was obviously nervous, leaning against me and holding my hand with her tiny sweaty hand.
They I began to say "We are transfers from "such-and-such" school.
And the teacher looked at me and said "I know."

And I became quiet.
She knows.
But what does she know?

Does she know how well Kate has been working?
Does she know how hard her Daddy and I work to get her the services that she needs?
Does she know how sweet Kate is and how hard she works and how hard she tries and how she aims to please?
Does she know that I am known as "that kind of Mom" within the district and some of the fights that I have put up?
Does she know that I lie in bed some nights wondering of there is something else we could be doing for her?

I'm sure she has a good idea about all of the above.
I'm sure this teacher has done her homework.
And I am sure this new teacher of ours is well prepared for Kate.
For me.
For this academic year.

I like her.
First impressions are everything and I like the vibe I got from her.

We made our way to Kate's desk.
Her seat is right in front of the teacher's desk.
She sits with 3 other students: two other girls and one boy.
The four desks face each other.
I like the set up.
We proceed to put all of her supplies in her desk.
She nervously thumbs through the books on her desk.
I run my hand over her head and down her back to let her know that it will be OK.

I wish someone could've done that for me.
I look around the room at the other parents and children talking and putting their supplies away.
She is now one student in a sea of 28.
She is no longer in a special ed classroom setting of 6 children.
This is it.
This is the whole kit and caboodle.
This is the big leagues.
She is running with the big dogs now.
And the antianxiety med wasn't cutting it at that moment for me.

I refused to let that lump in my throat turn into epic water works.
Lamaze breathing.
It worked for labor...please don't fail me now.
My husband stood back about 3 feet and gave us some space.
But he gave me that knowing look and understood what was racing through my mind.

I am not sure when we stood up and left the room but the coolness of the hallway felt like paradise.
I turned Kate around to face the entry to her classroom.
I pointed to the left and showed her the drinking fountain which was 10 feet away if she needed to refill her water bottle during the day.
I turned her back to her classroom and reminded her that this is where she will be having so much fun!

That little sweaty hand would not let go of mine.

We walked down the hall and met our school SLP.
We know her from a previous school setting so her familiar face was truly welcomed.
Kate was still nervous but happy to see her.
And just then her Supported Ed teacher appeared.

Just like that.
Out of the blue.
I was soooooo happy to receive an email from her earlier that morning stating that she would be Kate's SpEd teacher.
We met her in the Spring at various IEP Meetings and I was immediately drawn to her enthusiasm, her spirit and her gentle demeanor.

She is perfect for my baby girl.

As we talked with her, the SLP took Kate to her speech classroom.
It was nice to be able to talk in the hall without those little ears listening to my concerns.
And once again, just like she had done in the past, she reassured me about her plans for Kate and the year they will have!
After all, they have been preparing for this as much as we have.
We walked downstairs and met up with Kate again.

And once again, hand in hand, we walked out of the school and towards the safety and comfort of our home.

And that's it.
Our journey in general education with Supportive Ed now begins.
It will be a learning curve, that is for sure.
And I just might need a refill on that antianxiety medication.
But this is now in God's hands and with Him, anything is possible!

Anything.

4 comments:

  1. This year our 6 year old is a kindergartner. He's been in early childhood ed for the past 3 years, so this year I felt like this was 'real' school. In EC he had a whole classroom filled with special needs kids. This classroom he might have a few. I am so scared, nervous, happy, enthusied...and many many more feelings about this year for him. I really like his teacher but feel she isn't ready to handle a over protective momma bear like me should her child need more help than her or the para can provide. I'm going to try my best to stand back and not email the teacher every day,every week and make sure he's doing okay. I have to let him go...so nervous...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can sympathize with you. Although, my son would be trying to run around the room because he cannot filter out the stimuli. I read the post to my wife and we can understand your feelings about being those parents. It is hard to trust another human being with your child for that long. It is hard to hand over the reigns to a Gen Ed teacher. Bryson goes back on Monday and meet the teacher is Thursday. I hope that our experience goes well too. He is still in Special Ed "social Group" for core subjects, but we worry all day long about him. Good luck this year. May God bless your family and precious kids.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh man can I relate to this. God is good and He will be with her and with you every step of the way. Thank you so much for writing this. You put into words what so many of us have felt. During the hardest times we faced in the Apraxia world, this verse got me through it... it is so true.

    Exodus 4:10-12
    New International Version (NIV)
    10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

    11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

    God bless you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brought tears to my eyes. I love the saying from Lisayunt -PERFECT SAYING! Those words are so perfect! :)

    God Bless all the children heading back to school this year. I too look forward to a wonderful year for my son!!

    ReplyDelete