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Friday, October 26, 2012

I went to a mid-semester parent teacher conference for my 8th grader the other night. I sat with his teachers and heard their thoughts on my boy's progress. I heard that he has some trouble staying focused. I heard that he is likeable and pleasant most of the time but that he also has anxious times, especially around testing. I heard that he is doing well in History, his grade in Science is in the 70's, and he's flat out failing Math and English. I heard that he tries to avoid doing his work, is at times disorganized, and has to be redirected often to stay on task.

Honestly, I couldn't have been more grateful or more proud to sit in that chair and hear what these wonderful folks had to share with me...
  • because for a big chunk of last year, my boy was in a locked psychiatric unit for his protection and ours
  • because 4 months ago, my boy was incapable of sitting in a chair, staying in class, or completing the simplest task at school
  • because at the end of the last school year, it looked like my boy would not be able to function in a mainstream academic setting due to his mental health issues
And yet, here we are in late October with him back in school, goofing off in class, griping about homework, studying and passing what he likes, trying to catch up on what he missed last year in the classes he doesn't love so much. This conference seems like another one of those mundane things that is really an amazing gift...another miracle.

I came home from the conference, walked in the door and was greeted by my anxious son who wanted to know what his teachers said. I put my arms around my boy and told him I was proud of him. He was startled. "Wow, Mom, I didn't expect that! Why are you proud of me? I'm failing 2 classes." Well, for now, maybe...but my boy has come so far and that's just what I told him. I reminded him of how he was feeling last year and where he is now. I was rewarded with a big smile from my boy...a smile as bright as my hope for his future.

Then we sat down and worked on his English presentation together...on Homer. He got an A. In your face, PTSD and Bipolar disorder.


Denise said...

Thank you for sharing this story. Sometimes all we need is perspective. You ABSOLUTELY should be proud, teary-eyed proud.

Kelly said...

What great news! And cheers to you for being such a faithful and supporting mother. Sending you all much love from Seattle.

Anne Kimball said...


Michele said...

I have tears in my eyes as I read how well he is today. Love and prayers and darn hard work on your part have had such wonderful success.

Elisa L. said...

Max...I'm so proud of you, too! I remember you as a little first grader...adjusting to life here in the United States. I
recall how quickly you learned to speak, read and write English, make new friends, explore this new life through the
eyes and heart of your early years. I know it hasn't been easy...but, you still continue to BELIEVE in those who love you. Keep believing Squirrel Man.. there's so much more
of liFe's good awaiting you!

Mrs. L

Anonymous said...

That is so awesome.

JeanA said...

Sharing your most heartfelt story is a gift to all who read it...loving your child for who they are and where they are...such a lesson
thank you :)