Thursday, March 12, 2009

At Least I Didn't Have to Wear a Paper Gown

Yesterday was Jake's IEP meeting at school.

IEP's always take me back mentally to my years of infertility appointments. Dreading the date on the calendar. Hoping for good news, but also preparing for the worst. Being brave during the pain. Crying all the way home.

Invasive. Uncomfortable. Making me feel completely helpless and totally guilty all at once. (So, my tubes are completely scarred, damaged and useless? So, he's still struggling with social clues? Ahhh, where did I go wrong!!?)

Yesterday I psyched myself up Big Time to meet with the 4th grade/special ed team. I put on a power jacket and heels. I had my manilla folder (and pen!) at the ready. I arrived early and fragrant with Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. And, you know what?

It didn't hurt a bit!

The teachers were delightful. We laughed. We assessed. We discussed. We solved. At one point, the mainstreaming teacher said, "You know, I'm seeing a little bit of silliness..." And, I did not get defensive or feel guilty. I simply smiled and said, "Welcome to Jake! He must finally feel comfortable in your classroom."

I left with a spring in my step and I didn't cry a bit.

It could be that I'm learning from past experience. (I am.) It could be that Jake really HAS come a long way. (He has.) It could be that we are blessed with a fantastic school district and exceptional teachers. (We are.) Probably a little of all three.

I have always believed that things happen to us for a reason. So, my only question is this: If all those doctor's appointments were preparing me for all these IEP's, then what are all these IEP's preparing me for?

Don't answer that.

20 comments:

Annie said...

Good for you. And Jake.

Plus, that's the best post title I've seen in a long while. :)

Ilene said...

The cycle ends with these IEPs. That's it. You were prepared to deal and now you are dealing. The end.

I'm so glad that Jake and you are getting comfortable- and a bit silly.

Christie said...

Don't you think life would be easier if we knew what was in store and could prepare ourselves for it a little bit?

Guess that's why I probably initially voted for Satan's plan. Good thing somebody talked me out of it, huh?

Congrats on the progress. Jake is a great kid and so lucky to have you for a mom.

Jenibelle said...

I decline to comment as it may incriminate me as a really lousy mother.

Hate IEP's. I ALWAYS cry. 23 years of IEP's and 23 years of IEP frustration and tears.

Good for you!!!

marta said...

congrats. that's awesome gabi. you and jake are a cute mama/son team. way to be the 'advocate' for a super kid.

Lauren in GA said...

That is great!

I loved the title here, too.

I agree with Ilene...the cycle ends with these IEPs...or you are going to be called as the Stake Young Womens President...

Is it Young Women's or Young Womens' or Young Womens?

I never know how to punctuate anything...but, uh...enough about me....

Annemarie said...

Congratulations! You are a great mom, he is a great kid.

wenderful said...

So glad the IEP meeting went well. What a relief. I also think you make an excellent advocate. Every kid needs an excellent advocate. On second thought, don't we all?

Rochelleht said...

I've always really enjoyed them. I'm sorry they've been such a pain for you. And I'm really glad this one was so much better.

Meg said...

LOL.

Great post.

I've got a silly 4th grader too.

calibosmom said...

So glad that didn't end in tears! Lovely smells yummy and Jake has a very brave mama!

Marci said...

I just love Jake! He is such a great kid, silliness and all. And what a great mom you are. They are lucky to have you.

TravelinOma said...

I used to dread meetings with my kids' teachers. There was always a little bit of news ("He's drawing pictures of women showing their private parts...") that caused embarrassment and defensiveness.

I felt like the teachers were judging me and my parenting ability, and I was intimidated because I wasn't that confident about my skills either.

It took me lots of parent-teacher conferences to realize that I actually knew my child, his problems and his successes better than the teacher did, and I was there to help her do her job better; she was there to make me aware of circumstances that would help me understand my kid better.

Of course by then the kids were all grown up and I could see for myself that they turned out OK in spite of me and the teacher.

diane said...

Your IEP will prepare you for middle school when Jake will be in puberty and the midddle school will have lots of Jakes. You are amazing. Fashion helps our mind set. You went in with power and heels. Next time wear a tiara. Now I want a picture of your darling outfit please.

Heidiram said...

I've only suffered through two IEP meetings. I cried and sobbed almost uncontrollably through both. And now my daughter's IEP has been closed. I figure that once her Kindergarten teachers are banging their heads against the wall when she enters Kindergarten in 2010 they will decide to re-evaluate. Until then, I am continuing on with mommy modifications to her educational plan.

I don't know why I went through the trials of infertility, but I do know that all my years of teaching/education experience were preparing me for my kiddo with special needs.

the wrath of khandrea said...

wow. i got a little misty reading this. i feel you 100%. noe's next mtg is scheduled for april 6th. we discuss possible retention; which means we discuss all areas of failure. which means i feel responsible.

however, we have an amazing team, so i am hoping for an experience much like yours. i will break out the power jacket, and stop by staples to buy a manilla folder.

pictures forthcoming.

martha corinna said...

Congratulations! I was hanging on every word because I get it. The other day Lulu's teacher told me that she is starting to see signs of empathy sprouting in her. Seriously the happiest day!

You story gives me hope.

Bridget said...

Good for you for not crying. That's a big moment. Now I am really curious to smell Lovely.

Lindsey said...

I loved this post because I too despise IEP meetings!!! YUK~!! Thanks for sharing though. It was a very good perspective. I am have a hard time keeping up with commenting because I usually read blogs while nursing.. and I can't comment one handed!!!

Lindsey said...

I loved this post because I too despise IEP meetings!!! YUK~!! Thanks for sharing though. It was a very good perspective. I am have a hard time keeping up with commenting because I usually read blogs while nursing.. and I can't comment one handed!!!

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