Tuesday, September 12, 2006

BACK-TO-BACK DEVASTATION
Yesterday was 9/11, a day all of us that were cognizant five years ago, will never forget. Everytime I look at a digital clock and it says 9:11, I pause. Everytime I see the number to call for emergencies, 911, I'm saddened. That day forever changed our world, globally we will never be the same.
Five years ago today, 9/12, my own personal world was devastated. The two days are forever linked in my heart, my mind and my rage.
I was walking with Kathleen on the morning of 9/11, it was only 6:00 AM here in Portland. When I got back home my husband had the TV on and told me of the attacks.
I wondered how we were all supposed to shower, get dressed and go about our day after that. I called my children's two schools to see if they were still meeting, and yes, they were.
I held my five-year-old son's hand and walked with trepidation into his Pre-K class. I thought for sure I would detect something different in the air that day, but everyone seemed to have signed a covenant to pretend nothing was wrong. Who were these people?
For weeks I had been meeting with this teacher. I'd carefully gone over the facts of my son's special needs. I'd shared his IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) that qualified him for services with Portland Public Schools. I'd been very clear about his challenges, strengths and areas with which she'd need special help. We were set. They were ready for him. This woman had taught pre-school forever, there never had been a child she couldn't teach. She welcomed the challenge. I had even made the mistake of prematurely relaxing.
On the morning of September 12, 2001, only a few days into the new school year, the teacher called me and said this situation wasn't going to work afterall. His needs were too great. I needed to move him to a different classroom. She had thrown up her hands and was all done.
My first thought was not, "What am I going to do now?" but "Who dumps this on someone 24-hours after 9/11?"
I was in no way prepared to deal with this second level of loss, fear and anxiety. I was not in my right mind. How was I to make an educational switch for my son under these conditions, and this quickly? Placing him in her class had come after months of visiting pre-schools, interviews, meeting with doctors, consultants and therapists. Now I had to start over from scratch? She generously agreed to let him finish the week there, but by Monday, I was to have made other arrangements.
I did.
I do.
Nobody is pulling that same rug out from me ever again.
Never.
The world may have been forever changed by 9/11, and there isn't much I can do about that. My son's world, however, is a whole different story.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

you are awesome.

Jerri said...

Wouldn't want to go up against you in a fight, girl. Especially one that involved the well being of your children.

Suzy said...

Shame on them! They are fools. But they under estimate Carrie the Proud!

Michelle O'Neil said...

This happened with us in preschool. It hit me directly in my heart and infused me with the fear that there would never be a place in the world for my child.

And yet, you have managed to fill Wil's path with people who love and welcome him.

You're awesome!

Molly said...

God couldn't have given a Rojo a better mom.

Anonymous said...

The higher Power knew what he was doing when he gave you Rojo!!You are totally AWESOME!!!M

B. Solomon said...

The educational system in Portland (or is it our country?) is often not set up for our children, but rather for the convinience of the adults.
Methinks somebody has something a little backwards here.
Good job sticking up for Wil! You are his first, best and strongest advocate!

jennifer said...

Love this writing. Good work Linkey-La!!

Lee Wolfe Blum said...

You are an amazing Mom!

David Michael said...

One of the best personal perspectives of 9/11 that I have read! You have put into words what so many have felt. Bless you and your family.