Still, I find myself in tears in the car after each and every IEP meeting. No matter how encouraging the teachers are, no matter how thorough we are in developing accommodations to assist Danny in his learning, I still come away feeling depressed.
Today, I realized that part of me, on some level, must have thought that by kindergarten, Danny would have totally caught up. I think I assumed that at this point, Danny would no longer need special services. Obviously, I need to change the way I think on this matter. I need to accept that he may struggle with some of these issues for the rest of his life. And you know what? That just sucks. It really, really does.
I know that it isn't the end of the world. I know that none of these labels or challenges change who my son is. I know that everyone struggles with different issues. We all have challenges. I know that these challenges don't define who he is and that he might just be OK. But sometimes those rationalizations just don't help me feel better. They don't always allay my fears for his future--both academic and social. They don't make it any easier watching my kid struggle with things other kids pick up with no help at all.
And though I know that life is not fair, I still occasionally feel a deep sense of injustice that my kid has these problems at such a young age.
On the way home I thought about why I struggle with IEP meetings. I wondered what it would take for me to come away from one without crying. And I realized that it would take the staff telling me that Danny no longer needs services. The meeting in which they tell me I no longer have to attend IEP meetings will be the meeting I come away smiling. Because though Danny has progressed and come such a long way and made enormous strides, I think I will always feel just a bit sad over all that he has to overcome.
And frankly, I am sick to death of people (no matter how loving, good intentioned, and knowledgeable they may be) telling me how different Danny is or what he needs to work on. I am so tired of evals and recommendations and accommodations and special ed crap. I just am. And even writing this makes me feel guilty.
I'll get over it. Don't worry about me. I just need to vent. And maybe spend some good quality time with the kids tonight playing games and making pigs in a blanket. That should cure my foul mood.....
Oh, yeah, that and a giant piece of chocolate cake with tons of frosting.