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.