Monday, March 09, 2009


I am hopeful today.

Hopeful that a very difficult patch is coming to a close.

Hopeful that lessons learned (by the Mama and the kid) will be remembered.

Hopeful that there is a glimmer of understanding: of capabilities, of choices, of consequences.

This has not been an easy school year. The transition to Middle School is fraught with so many changes, emotional and physical, that it is rarely easy. I thought that Rob and I had made choices in this regard that would leave us in a position where, although we were facing uncharted territory, we (and our child) would be supported. We were unprepared for this, it's true, although I'm not sure in retrospect that it was possible to be fully prepared. The hardest part of this year has been that where I felt I should be finding allies I found enemies. At every turn, I was foiled. Ignored. Rebuked. Left to founder and sink, to fight my way up and go forward, only to founder again.

And while I was in quicksand, alternately holding very still so as not to make the dire situation even worse and flailing about wildly, reaching out to grasp any nearby branch, blade of grass or straw, my kid was sinking.

I don't talk much about my kids' academic success here, but for the record they are all very bright, they do better than average in school consistently, and they all always have. They come from overachieving stock. :) So despite my wailing about the grades this year, this child will pass his standardized testing with flying colors. He isn't a threat to the standing of the school in terms of test scores. And, sadly, I wonder if perhaps that is one reason of many that my very real concerns about his study skills, his organization (or lack thereof), his irresponsibility, were not taken as seriously as I would have liked.

I am still puzzling this out in my head, and the choices made about his education now take into account his feelings and wishes as well as those of his dad and me.

But for now, the homework is caught up, the teachers are reporting changes in class, and he is exhibiting a happy, confident demeanor. We have a plan to keep it going, and I am hopeful.

I am also, however, a champion grudge holder, and I am harboring tremendous anger right now. Too many months of frustration led to so much anguish, anger and strife in my home this year. I was not the Mom I want to be. Our home was not the sanctuary I want it to be for my family. I am trying to work through it -- I really am, because I know that the anger is just going to hurt me -- but right now I am not finding a way out of the anger. I want to use it in a way that is productive for me, that brings me some resolution, and that helps ensure this lack of communication, this disconnect between the values of our school and the practices of our school, this utter disrespect of my role as parent and co-educator, ends.

I don't want another family to go through a year like this. The school my kids attend isn't living up to its promises. I need to find a way to make it clear that the students and families who are part of that school deserve more.

I am hopeful.


  1. Praying for you, Rob and G. We totally understand what you are going through with the adjustments to Middle School. It is very hard on the kids as much as the parents. Especially parents like us who CARE about the education of our children. Keep strong, keep being you as a parent and most of all keep loving G so he knows you are in his corner. Love ya lady! More then you know!

  2. It makes me sad that you've had to fight your school so hard with this. Have you taken this all to another layer such as superintendent? Just wondering.

    We are struggling with our oldest and school...if nothing else, know you're foundering on that sea in good company.