This afternoon will be the Spring Parent/Teacher/Staff Interviews. This is the chance where I get to see Michael’s school’s perception of him, his strengths and weaknesses, and share the other side of who Michael is at home. And like a lot of children, he is different in the two places, obedient in school, and rebellious at home. I am always so excited to go to these sessions, as his school is so receptive to sharing their side of who Michael is, and I do the same with them. They are like a second family to me, similar to the community organization we belong to that helps exceptional families in our area. I feel like I can share anything and they will understand. The whole school is full of exceptional children who learn differently so they’ve seen it all, you can say. Michael’s teachers and therapists are as much my helpers as they are Michael’s, and I like to think I am their helper too. To me, we are all on the same team at the end, team Michael. This team’s goal is helping Michael win the most important game there is, the game of life, and leading it in a happy, healthy and productive way. I think we are all God’s instruments in helping shape Michael into the human being he is meant to become. There are difficult conversations to have too, challenges that Michael still struggles with, his handwriting and fine motor delays, anxiety about change, and worries about certain more aggressive behaviors he is exhibiting at home such as hitting himself and us at times. I also have our Psycho Educator from our community health organization, another helper for Michael and I on the home front. I am in touch with her giving her feedback about school, as I do with them and what is happening at home.
I am growing along with Michael, and when I leave the company of these professionals, I feel stronger, better able to cope with the difficult moments I face as an Exceptional Mom, and most importantly, know I am not alone. I will inevitably see Mom friends this afternoon who are on this same voyage as me, all of us there to celebrate our children’s triumphs and help encourage them to take the next step in overcoming their weaknesses. Their smiling faces, our social exchanges, will help me as much as speaking to Michael’s teacher and the therapists, knowing that there is a purpose for all of us, all our kids, and that together we will navigate the rough waters of life.
If there’s anything I have learned from being an Exceptional Mom of an Exceptional Child, is that we need to reach out to family, friends, community, in person, on-line, and of course to the school and health care organizations. There are many people waiting to help, but don’t know how to approach exceptional families. I’ve learned that the first step is to approach them, showing yourself as a partner in helping your exceptional child and family flourish. As Moms, we are being supported as much by our children getting help as they are. Because if they flourish, we all flourish, and then all of us can live the life we are meant to live. Until next time.