Thursday, June 18, 2009

THE WIDENING GAP

Met with Rojo's 7th grade teacher yesterday. Great woman, had Woohoo three years ago and remains Woohoo's fav. teacher ev. She also happens to have an adult child with special needs - 30 now - she gets it.

She asked me the kinds of questions we all hope a teacher will ask: "Tell me about Rojo." "What are your goals for him?" "What would you like to see us work on this year?" That kind of thing.

Felt kind of silly just saying, "Love him."

It's not that I/we don't have "goals" but really, does the boy need to finish the year with algebra under his belt? Really?

She started telling me about a retreat the 7th graders would be going on first thing in the fall. "We write down our regrets and burn them," she said.

"He'll need help with that," I said. "Not only will he have no concept of what a regret is, he won't have any. Really."

"Then we assemble a lunch for a partner - I provide all the makings for sandwiches, and the kids take each other's orders and then make the sandwich according to what their partner wants."

"He'll need help with that," I said.

The 1-hour conference continued in that fashion. She with the "We..." and me with the "He'll need help with thats..."

Later, Rojo had STM running up to Plaid Pantry to replace the package of Skittles he'd absconded, and I agreed to ride along and run in for him (wife of the year moment).

I was telling STM about the conference and he said, "You're starting to make me feel like the parent of a special needs child."

"I know," I said, "that's how I felt, too. The gap gets wider and wider each year. It's hard to even see the other side from here."

Just then we saw from our car windows, a girl in a motorized wheel chair leave her home and head on down the sidewalk.

With no arms and legs.

None.

14 comments:

Suzy said...

We all need that reminder.

Love you.

Suzy

deb said...

I remember that feeling but for us it came when Katie was not even a year old. Each year I saw the gap widen until I finally realized that she would never cross that gap, it was permanent and she would be living on her side of the gap forever. It hurt.

Me said...

No accidents.

jess said...

2 days ago, my dad left this comment over at my place ...

“There but for the grace of god go I”…..Just when we feel that we can’t go another step we find out that there are many who face much more of a challenge than we do. That doesn’t take our struggle away, but it gives it some perspective.

amen

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Yes. I need to think of those realities more often.

jillbob said...

The "goal" word has been tossed around a lot here lately. Someone recently asked me to picture where I 'see' Alex in 10 years and then set the goals appropriately. I was at a complete loss. Where do I see anyone be in 10 years? The pic of the bridge is perfect. It looks solid on this end, and at this moment that is all that matters.

Deb Shucka said...

No accidents. And if not knowing what regrets are is part of the gap, maybe it's a gap we all need to experience more.

Love you.

Lola said...

"Oh my God." Words said out loud at the end of this post!
It's all relative isn't it...?
xo

Wanda said...

Perspective is good. Comparison not so much. I have been mulling a post about comparison. It is a way I sometimes minimize my experience. And then I realize that is not helpful to me. "It could be worse." Of course, it could and I am glad it's not. "But it still hurts here and now."

Michelle O'Neil said...

Ginge,(can I call you Ginge)?

As Kahlil Gibran says, we are the bows, they are the arrows. We have no waying of knowing how far they will go.

I'd say a person who lives with no regret has already gone further than most.

Love,

MO'N

Jerri said...

Wow. Just Wow.

and Love.

drama mama said...

Chills.

This is the CWL No Accidents portion of the post.

WHENEVER I get the tiniest inkling of that parent/special needs thing, and start to go into my pity party rave, I inevitably run see a girl in our neighborhood who wears a helmet, is in a wheelchair, and whose mother is so tender and loving with her, that I immediately say out loud to myself, I GET IT, GOD.

And I always make sure to say hello to the family and talk to the girl.

Because no one else does.

And I remember that my girl has friends, two legs, arms, and a beautiful brain that works brilliantly.

I get it.

Ask Me Anything said...

In Jungian terms, the gap between who we really are and who our ego wants us to be comes to a head in middle age--where we go through a "second adulthood" in an attempt to close that gap.

Rojo will likely never have THAT gap.

She said...

Wow. Double wow.

No accidents.

and

No regrets.

Whew!