This afternoon when I dropped Ben off at school, his teacher mentioned that we were approaching Ben's year mark of being in his class, which meant that we'd be having a meeting soon to evaluate Ben's progress and goals. As a bit of side note, Mr. Brad commented, "you know, I'm going to do whatever I can to keep him in my class, but there's a chance that he may not even qualify anymore."
Two years ago I had Ben evaluated by an Early Start teacher who, at that time, almost diagnosed Ben as autistic, based on her first observations of him. After a couple of months she was confident that that wasn't the correct diagnosis, but there were still enough delays that we signed him up for her class and started working with her on getting him to talk and improve in other areas where he was delayed.
As soon as Ben turned 3, he "graduated" from that program and then made a very smooth transition to a different preschool with a teacher who specializes in Speech. I had assumed Ben would be in this class right up until he was ready to start kindergarten. The fact that he may not qualify to be in this particular class anymore came as a bit of a surprise. A great one! Don't get me wrong. It means that he's caught up to where he "should" be (whatever that means, right?) and there aren't any serious delays that need to be addressed.
Ben loves his teacher and the assistant. He has so much fun and it has been such a great place for him. He really has grown and matured so much socially. Ben has found his voice, in more ways than one, and has such a clever-thinking mind. I would love to have him home with me, but I think it'd be so confusing to him to all of a sudden not being going to school anymore. I know we'd find our own special things to do, just like I've been trying to do with the time I have with Hugh while Ben's at school. I just wasn't expecting to hear that today.
And, it kind of got me thinking about why that came as such a shock. So often I doubt myself and my abilities, especially when it comes to things related to parenting. I never feel like I'm measuring up... to what exactly? I have no idea! It's so absurd. But, still there sort of this constant feeling that I'm just not quite on par and may never be.
Where do those thoughts come from? I've always blamed the inner voice in my head. But, what if it isn't our inner voice? What if at some point down the road we find that voice to be from some much darker more sinister source that really preys on our weaknesses and seeks to make us miserable?
I don't think my inner voice is nearly so harsh or unforgiving. On any given day and in any given moment, we are bombarded with so many different emotions and experiences. The thoughts and feelings that come to us from different directions can all be so subtle. Unless it's some big moment, I don't really stop and consider where each thought and feeling comes from.
Starting today, I'm going to be more discerning to the different thoughts and feelings that come to me, because I have this sneaking suspicion that my true inner voice is much more like the still, small voice that whispers encouraging words that build and inspire. It could be that the negative really are coming from somewhere deep inside of me, but even if that is the true source, listening to it still isn't going to be helpful in any way.
I'm not anywhere near the mother I want to be or wish I were, but I am trying so hard... and I can look back and see how much I'm learning and how much I'm getting better at some things. And, even though I'm not perfect all of the time (who is, though?!), I do have some good moments and have figured out how to do some things right.
My biggest fear is totally botching this whole thing and ruining my kids for the rest of their lives. But, then I have moments - like today in my conversation with Ben's teacher - where I look back and see how far we've come together and how much we've been blessed in the process. And, I think we're all doing so much better than we realize. And, whatever negative voices are trying to convince us otherwise are just not worth listening to.
1 month ago