Tonight was Meet The Teacher Night at school. It's always a shuffle to get to all the classes we need to go to between the elementary and high school. Although I stopped visiting the high school teachers years back because I realized that their rules and expectations don't change much over the years, and after I visited all the teachers for my first child, I knew all there was to know. Subbing at the school helps, too. I can just talk to teachers any time I need to. Which is never, because my kids are good at school work and doing what they need to do. We're lucky that way.
Except Micah, and he's a whole different ball game. While the other kids might be playing metaphorical baseball, he's somewhere on the golf course searching for stray balls to add to his collection.
I still go to Meet The Teacher Night for the elementary, just because of him. Not at all to see what the teachers expect from their students, but to inform the teachers of exactly what kind of student they have in their class when they have Micah. I need to be sure his mainstream teachers understand him as much as possible, know how to effectively work with him, and get the most cooperation from him that they can with the least amount of frustration on the sides of both parties involved.
This year I failed to meet his mainstream teacher, but left a bio sheet on her desk. Micah's super fantastical aide will be there every single day, however, to stand in the gap between Micah and any teacher who needs help. That lady is worth her weight in gold. I'm not too worried. Plus, the 30 minute talk with Micah's Special Ed teacher included the information that his mainstream homeroom teacher has a background in Special Ed, so she's going to be pretty amazing with Micah. I can already tell.
I spent 45 minutes talking to Micah's Special Ed teacher and another 45 talking to the Special Ed coordinator. We discussed everything there was to discuss about Micah, I threw out some ideas to help make the school year a much better one for everyone involved, and we all raved about how well the boy is doing in school this year. (I know it's only been 3 days, but those are 3 days in a row that he's LOVED school, and that's a record in his 7 years of school attendance.) I very much look forward to this night of the year because it gives me a chance to get on the same page with the school in regards to Micah's education, and we get to chat a bit and get to know each other better.
As I was leaving the school, I overheard some parents talking in the hallway. Pleasantries were exchanged, and there was a general air of anxiety about them all that clearly said, "this is the worst night ever. I am so overwhelmed and intimidated by these teachers." I am 100% certain that I have Micah to thank for the fact that I don't experience this at all. There was a day when I was intimidated by the world around me, because other people are always better at everything than I am. I am not the best dressed, or have the nicest hair, and I certainly don't drive the best vehicle. My kids aren't always top of the class, and I don't carry expensive handbags. I'm not All That, and it's far too easy to feel inferior to those around me who have things that I do not. Even things like self confidence.
Micah taught me over the years that these are just things. Micah taught me that stopping to see life from another angle is a very good thing, not a bad thing or even just a different thing. Micah taught me that it doesn't matter one bit what anyone thinks of us while we stop to squat by the roadside and look at that dead bug for 5 whole minutes. We are learning and exploring the world around us. Micah taught me to stand up for what I believe is right and fair and to be proactive in matters that matter rather than waiting for someone else to take initiative because they're more qualified. I am Micah's mom. I am the most qualified to take care of him whether it's in matters relating to school or medical or even the way he dresses. The choices I make are based on information gathered from many sources and I am confident that we are making the right choices at the moment. I don't care what others think of us for swimming upstream and making waves in a world where people are worried about being politically correct (whatever that even is). And after 11 years of learning and living this, I have come to the point where I am not intimidated by anyone. It doesn't matter who you are, you are not better than me. We are all equals. Period. You may have more education, but that doesn't make you better, only smarter in the field you studied. A high paying job or fame doesn't make you better; it makes you wealthier or more well known than I am. We are all equals in the playing field of life, and I'm so glad that Micah taught me this fundamental truth. Not having to worry about impressing others is the most freeing gift anyone can give. I've gained perspective by being Micah's mom.