Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Mother's Urge To Protect Her Young

I was never prepared for this hurt. No one tells you when you decide to have children that you wil physically feel their pain. You cry when they get their immunizations as babies. One time, when Evan was 10 months old, he had a stomach virus that left him dehydrated and his electrolytes completely depleted. He had to have an IV, and I had to leave the room. I could have sworn I could feel the stick myself, outside of a closed door, in the hallway of that ER. None of it prepared me for this.

Evan went to see the child psychologist today. She got down on the floor with him, playing with Legos, and managed to pull out of my child all of things he never told me. I sat by silently, trying to focus on the questionnaires she gave me to fill out, while my son poured it all out to her. In his beautiful mind, he could not understand why he had to do the mundane schoolwork presented to him in class. He knows this stuff, so why should he have to prove himself to his teacher? Then we got to the part where his retention in kindergarten was discussed. It was all I could do to keep myself from breaking into gulping sobs when I heard the sadness in his little voice as he explained to her in very adult terms how the children at school called him a dummy, or stupid, or retarded because he was forced to repeat kindergarten. How they pick on the Southrn accent we all find so adorable. How he is taunted about being a "rich" kid because of the shoes he wears. He said sometimes they combine it all: Dumb rich hick. Never, in all of this time, did I imagine my bright and beautiful child would be the butt of jokes at school. Never did he utter a single word about any of this. I told him as we were driving to his appointment that we were going to meet a lady who was going to help us with the problems he was having at school, and how important it was that he tell her the complete truth about what is truly going on. I am so proud of him. He did just that. I sat there and let him speak.

Her opinion of my son is that he is a "social butterfly with an abnormally high intellect". That he never should have been forced to repeat kindergarten, and that the school should be doing more to offer to him more challenging and engaging work. We will continue to meet with her to work on these issues. His IQ? I will not report that publically, but I will say it is freakishly high.

But then I came home. After grocery shopping and playtime, homework, bath and bedtime have passed, I am alone in a silent house. And I feel this deep, primitive urge to wreak havoc on the morons who did this to my son. He has been hurting and I could not fix it. I know about it now and still am not sure I can fix it. I want to keep him home tomorrow. I want to tell him he never has to go back to that place, full of cruelty for him. My understanding of the teacher's view, my desire to back the school, and my inclination to put up a united front with them in front of Evan? Those are all gone. I want to fight them tooth and nail to ensure that they do right by my child. If he had an impairment of any kind, the law would force them to come up with an individualized plan to meet his needs. Well he has needs, just at the opposite end of the spectrum, and I do not see why they should not legally be forced to accomodate Evan as well. And the children who have tormented him, when in truth he is exponentially more intelligent than they are??? They need to be dealt with by the teacher. How could she not know this was going on?

I have not made a decision yet as to what I plan to do about this. I need to speak to John first, and he will be home from work soon. Private school? Home-school? Just change districts? Raise hell at his existing school? Maybe a combination of any of those. Hell hath no fury like a pissed mother. And I will go down protecting my baby.

No comments: