October 21, 2016
Writing is something I have missed, somehow in the busyness I have gotten out of the habit and it actually wears on me. Here's the thing though, Once I sit down and actually make myself think about writing it all comes to me in such a rush that I don't know where to start, there is just so much to say and then I become overwhelmed and I close the computer, pour a coffee and try to justify to myself that it's okay.
Today is different. Today I have decided to push everything aside and try to focus.
Last year was a rough year for both of our kids at school. They really struggled in a very tough school, they were lost in the fray so to speak of a school that had so many problems that the kids who behaved were easily dismissed. They didn't learn, they were anxious. They hated going, every morning was hard. I was scared to go to far from our neighbourhood because I was called so frequently to the school for injuries, or concerns, or sometimes I just felt the actual need to check up on what was actually happening on the playground. I never had my phone off, never left it where I couldn't hear it, it was a lifeline in many ways because I knew that it was entirely possible that I may need to go rushing there at a moments notice and the school would need me available.
Josh also had a number of seizures in January and February, on the night of his birthday we had to rush him to the ER where he was unresponsive for over an hour. With changes in medicine doses we did eventually sort him out but it scared all of us, teachers included so we had a number of calls for that as well from the school.
It was at the end of May that a few things happened that prompted me to seriously question the placement of the boys. I won't get into details but I will say that it was the worst school I have ever heard of, and the administration was not doing anything to change things, teachers were left unsupported so they were left to deal with the discipline fall out. I saw that the boys were not only not happy but they weren't learning anything either. I couldn't continue to put them (or us) through that. These two boys have seen enough in life, they have fought to hard for everything, they deserved a chance to flourish, not be left to wilt and ultimately (I believe) fall through the cracks simply because they were not the problem kids in their classes. After numerous talks with the administration I began to see that nothing would change, that I was being told what I wanted to hear but there was no actual follow through, and hadn't been in the three years we had been associated with this school. In a very clear moment of assertion I finally made the choice to pull the kids from that school and have them transferred. The question became, to where? I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what school to ask for so I just asked God to make the decision for me. In the end when I spoke with the school superintendent (a last resort to get my kids out of the school they were in and into a new school) he suggested the school they now attend. It is a school that I wouldn't have chosen at first, but they have two best friends that go to this school so I agreed and hoped and prayed it was what God wanted.
Here's the thing: When I told the boys that they were not going back to the old school in September they were elated! They were beaming and hugging each other, they repeatedly thanked me, Kaper even called me his hero and numerous times told me he was proud of me. It wasn't until that moment that I realized just how bad it had been, just how strong they had needed and proven to be. With light at the end of the tunnel they were both overjoyed and for the rest of the time they had to attend that school they walked taller, lighter from the burdens no longer on their backs.
We are now bringing October to a close, Kaper just turned 7 years old, Josh's heart is unchanged (great news), his seizures are under control, here's what I can tell you about what I have learned through out this past year.
GOD IS IN CONTROL, He knows what he's doing, he cares about not just our health, he cares about the things that we care about, the bully's, the politics in schools, the worry about education, the daily struggles we all face that aren't necessarily something we think to go to him for because they seem small. He is there always, not just when your kid is lying in the ER unresponsive but also when he comes home feeling beat up after a difficult day, week, month... year.
This year when they started that new school they were EXCITED! Josh had his best friend IN HIS CLASS and all four boys have each other to count on at recess. They have teachers who care that they learn, they have administration that doesn't put up with any problems within the classrooms and because of that, they are surrounded by kids who sit and listen, who work to hard to achieve success. Kids want the boundaries adults set and these kids are all proof of that.
The support the boys are getting this year is incredible, just this week I met up with the spec ed teacher that works with Josh. Here is what he said:
Josh is doing incredibly well, 7 weeks into transition into a full size class all day and he's doing fantastic! His reading is not far off grade level, though he needs support still. His math is at grade level and in some cases he's understanding some grade four stuff. (really not my kid). He is well behaved and most important HE TRIES really hard, his effort is amazing. His one teacher said that he tries so hard he must come home exhausted. (He does).
Two years ago we were told that Josh would always have a language impairment, but on Thursday morning his teacher told me that orally he's doing fantastic and just needs some help with his writing and reading. We were told that he would need a special education program for him but this year he's in a regular classroom and thriving. Last year were told his spelling was atrocious (evidenced in absolutely EVERYTHING he tried to write - including spelling - which he spelt speling) but the last two weeks in a row he's gotten 100% on his spelling tests. Everything you tell this kid he can't do he does, he fights, and not only does he fight, he wins.
Last May when I was trying to decide what to do about the school situation I literally spent nights sleepless, not knowing what the best call was, I worried that after the time I spent investing in the relationships at the old school that it would be a difficult step to uproot them and trust a whole new administration and teaching staff. I worried that it was letting the other kids down if I wasn't there to fight on their behalf. Sitting here now, drinking my coffee and reliving it for you I have to say. Moving them was the best call we have made as parents (except for a few medical decisions along the way). Sitting here now, I can see how God was moving, working and taking care of my boys in ways I couldn't have planned or imagined; in ways I couldn't do as their mother because I can't see the bigger picture.
The take home from all of this? He is there regardless of the situation. He cares about EVERY SINGLE LITTLE DETAIL that we come across in our lives. He knows our every worry and he's already moving toward a solution, we can rest in that. For the first time in 8 years I am at rest; knowing that all is well with my boys and my family. Knowing that God is with me even now, he's with them, he's with Tim, he's with you.