Dear Little Man,
I’ve noticed that you are struggling quite a bit with school this year. I’ve noticed that you need to take an extra day (or two) after you’ve been sick to come back to feeling 100% before you are able to deal with going to school again.
With a heavier workload now that you’re in sixth grade, when you miss a day, it takes at least two days to get caught up; and that includes missing recesses and staying after school. And I know that for you, missing recess is like taking oxygen out of the air.
I understand that just being in school is a real trial for you at times. And I also understand that your brain likes to mess with you, pulling up thoughts that bring on anxiety, thoughts that make riding the bus in the morning intolerable. And thoughts that make thinking about going to school some days, very difficult. Add to this the beginnings of puberty, and I see you feeling insecure and unsure from time to time.
I also understand that a very loud message that you’ve received over and over from the school system, from the medical community, and even perhaps from me, is that there is something wrong with you. Your grades don’t show your brilliance, except for once in a very long while. And I know it can be very defeating. Schools aren’t designed for you. The medical community sees you as having disorders and dysfunctions, when it’s actually their lack of understanding and limited vision. And for many of your almost 12 years, I’d fallen under the spell and believed all these things.
I am so very sorry it’s taken me so long to wake up to the true brilliance that you are. I now know that you are an amazing creature that agreed with me to do this dance of mother and son (again). That you are created from divine perfection (as we all are), and that no matter what, everything is as it should be. You are perfectly imperfect. And your amazing skills that no school will ever appreciate, will carry you far in life. You came here to blow my life apart in the very best way and to make your mark on this world.
As your mother, I am honored and proud to be here for you. And I can’t wait to see you all grown up.
All my love,
PS. Your new Special Education teacher rocks. I’m working with her to make sure you get at least one recess every day, no matter what. But I can’t tell you about this until it’s a done deal.
So happy he has a good teacher! I was worried about my son missing recess now that he’s in middle school but so far they do go outside to run around for 20 minutes every day. He needs that so he can focus the rest of the day.
We’re still working on the recess thing, but I sure hope it pans out. When his IEP was put into place 2 years back, I wanted this and it was shot down. But the new SpEd teacher understands him better. We don’t have a true middle school- it’s grades 7 and 8 and no recess as far as I know. That will be next year’s challenge. So your 7th and 8th graders get a recess too?
Beautiful. Inspirational. Heartbreaking. Real. Thank you.
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading.
There’s nothing like a Mother’s love. Nothing.
Amen and yes ma’am!
Oh, how our Little Men pull our hearts in so many directions! Beautiful letter, Susan… beautiful.
Dawn, thank you so much. Yes, these Little Men sure do pull our hearts. They expand them, stretch them, break them, and more.
Ohhh, Susan-honey, This is so lovely, so heart-centered, and soul-affirming. Your son is lucky to have such a conscious, loving mother and considering what you’ve been through in life, your love, your choosing of love is a miracle, sweetie. YOU are a miracle. You’re also lucky to have such a wonderful son. You just thawed my grumpy and icey Monday morning heart, friend TY! I love you, sis. ❤
Thank you so much Liz. Sometimes, especially when life is throwing me a rough patch, I need to remind myself how awesome things really are; to choose love. Love you too.
This was wonderful. I am so glad he’s got a good teacher now.
Thanks Aussa. Three Special Ed teachers in 3 years. Not a good situation to have, as each teacher has to learn all these special kids. But I think the one we have this year seems to be an especially good one. And Little Man’s classroom teacher is good this year, too.
Oh my heart! It’s usually the stories that are most similar to mine that tug at my heart the strongest. My son is 8 and in 3rd grade but school is def a constant struggle. I hope you are able to work out the recess thing. This line … “I also understand that a very loud message that you’ve received over and over from the school system, from the medical community, and even perhaps from me, is that there is something wrong with you.” … That’s the part I hate. I don’t want him to feel broken or useless or less than. I can’t change the medical professionals or really the teachers but I can change me.
Thanks for reading. You understand because you are in the trenches, too. My heart is with all of these special children.
How lucky he is to get such positive messages from you. I wish I could always stay so positive. It gets harder when they’re teens and the challenges get bigger.