Last night, as I tucked in Bubba and Moose, I was already emotionally and physically exhausted. Aunt Piggy and Uncle Guitar Man were in town for a few days, and we had done our annual hike earlier in the day. We pulled the boys out of school and enjoyed each others company in a crisp, cold, relatively beautiful local park.
And then Aunt Piggy and Uncle Guitar Man left us. And I cried. Now they are back home, across the country. And I miss them.
In any case, I talked to Bubba as he tossed and turned. He coughed, and then perked up slightly, "Mom, if I am sick, do I have to go to school?" I firmly told him yes, trying to hide that my heart was hurting and my gut was screaming. Bubba can't express exactly what is going on at school; all he can tell me is that he is "angry." And the only thing I could think of while I kissed him goodnight was something I commented on another blog. Another mom is struggling and learning in the special education system, and I told her, "[He] is telling you something...it might be difficult, but keep listening."
I know that this is true for Bubba. He is telling me something, and I should listen to him, believe in him. Funny how sometimes your own advice hits you when you need it.
So today, I met with the boys' Regional Center coordinator to update their yearly plans. As we discussed Bubba's school situation and the fact that Moosie will be starting kindergarten next year, she reminded me of our options...lawyers, advocates, changing schools by private placement or even moving. It was clear she believed we had enough data, information, and cause to fight for the appropriate education for Bubba.
But all I could tell her is that I know what we could do, but I am so tired. So bitter. So exposed. I have fought for years, repeating argument and proof every year. I have been forced to question myself, my son, my beliefs, my perspective time and time again. But here we are, with little improvement, much regression, and a family in crisis.
But as I listen to her and those in my family who are worried about my sanity if we keep Bubba in school, but just as much if not more if I homeschool him... I struggle with what is not the right choice, but the best choice for Bubba and for me and for Hubby and for Moose.
I don't think I want to homeschool just because Bubba's in crisis at school. But what we have been going through year after year has definitely brought the idea front and center. But I don't want to homeschool him for selfish reasons (i.e., to not have to deal with the system and to be involved in his learning). I want both boys to have successful, love-filled lives and provide them the tools to enjoy where they are now and get them where they want to go later.
I suppose I know what to fight for. Or more precisely, who to fight for. I guess what's lacking is enough self-confidence. If I only believed in myself as much as I believe in my boys. I know I will get there. But it's difficult when you go against the grain, especially here in a traditional community. (I still get comments about how I nursed Mooser until he was in his third year!)
And in case you are wondering. I really miss Aunt Piggy. I think 2009 will bring a visit to Oregon. Maybe a homeschool field trip even. *smile*